This episode we speak with Alenda Y. Chang about games, ecology, literature, and environmental relations. Alenda is an Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. With a multidisciplinary background in biology, literature, and film, she specializes in merging ecocritical theory with the analysis of contemporary media. Her writing has been featured in Ant Spider Bee, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Qui Parle, the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, and Ecozon@, and her first book Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games (University of Minnesota Press, December 2019), develops ecological frameworks for understanding and designing digital games.
“Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.
Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/
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Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.
Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart
Double Bass: Aaron Stewart