Critical Distance: Keywords in Play
Episode 13 - Alenda Y. Chang

Episode 13 - Alenda Y. Chang

June 11, 2021

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 BeeInterdisciplinary Studies in Literature and EnvironmentQui 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/

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Keywords in Play Episode 12 - Aaron Trammell

Keywords in Play Episode 12 - Aaron Trammell

May 14, 2021

This episode we talk with Aaron Trammell about challenging canonical thinkers, race, torture and TTRPGs, with special reference to his open-access piece "Torture, Play and the Black Experience" https://www.gamejournal.it/torture-play/. Aaron is Assistant Professor of Informatics and Core Faculty in Visual Studies at UC Irvine. He writes about how Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and board games inform the lived experiences of their players. Specifically, he is interested in how these games further values of white privilege and hegemonic masculinity in geek culture. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Analog Game Studies and the Multimedia editor of Sounding Out! You can get in touch at trammell [at] uci [dot] edu

“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/

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Keywords in Play Episode 11 - Victor Navarro-Remesal and Thiago Falcão

Keywords in Play Episode 11 - Victor Navarro-Remesal and Thiago Falcão

April 14, 2021

Víctor Navarro-Remesal is a media scholar specialized in games. He teaches History of Videogames and Interactive Narrative at Tecnocampus, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Game Design at UOC. He’s the author of ‘Libertad dirigida: Una gramática del análisis y diseño de videojuegos’ (Shangrila, 2016) and ‘Cine Ludens: 50 diálogos entre el juego y el cine’ (Editorial UOC, 2019), as well as the editor of ‘Pensar el juego. 25 caminos para los game studies’ (Shangrila, 2020). His research interests are player freedom, Zen-inspired games, gêmu, and game preservation. He is one of the founding members of DIGRA Spain.

 

https://medium.com/game-studies-espa%C3%B1a/monogr%C3%A1ficos-dedicados-al-videojuego-en-revistas-acad%C3%A9micas-59e08566a8bd

“Ludonarrativas: La complejidad narrativa en los videojuegos” http://www.revistaatalante.com/index.php?journal=atalante&page=issue&op=current

Pensar el juego: 25 caminos para los game studies https://shangrilaediciones.com/producto/pensar-el-juego/

 

Thiago Falcão is Professor of Digital Media Communication Course and Professor of the Graduate Program in Communication at the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB). He holds a PhD in Communication and Contemporary Culture from the Federal University of Bahia and was a PDSE/Capes fellow at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has a Post-Doctorate in Audiovisual Communication from Anhembi Morumbi University in São Paulo/SP. Thiago currently researches themes regarding politics and entertainment, with special attention to the ties between the Brazilian esports scene and cultural dynamics associated to neoliberalism / late capitalism. 

 

Link for the Special Issue CFP "The Colonization of Play by Neoliberal Capitalism": https://periodicos.uff.br/contracampo/announcement/view/491

Rede Metagame: Brazilian Research network on Games and Political Culture: twitter.com/redemetagame

 

“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/

Keywords in Play Episode 10 - Thi Nguyen

Keywords in Play Episode 10 - Thi Nguyen

March 12, 2021

C. Thi Nguyen is a former food writer, now a philosophy professor at University of Utah. He writes about trust, art, games, and communities, and is interested in the ways that our social structures and technologies shape how we think and what we value.

His first book is Games: Agency as Art. It’s about how games are the art form that work in the medium of agency. A game designer doesn’t just create a world – they create who we are in that world. Games shape temporary agencies for artistic purposes. And games turn out to be our way of writing down and communicating modes of agency; by playing them, we can try out different forms of agency.  (Here’s a summary of the book and Thi's website is https://objectionable.net/.)

“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/

Keywords in Play Episode 9: Sonia Fizek

Keywords in Play Episode 9: Sonia Fizek

December 11, 2020

This episode's guest is Sonia Fizek, to discuss a forthcoming book on 'delegated' and 'interpassive' play. Sonia is a digital wanderer and a ludic thinker. On a more formal note, a professor at Cologne Game Lab in media and game studies and a co-editor in chief of the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. Previously a lecturer at Abertay University, a postdoctoral researcher at the Cent­re for Di­gi­tal Cul­tu­res at Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty Lüne­burg and a guest lecturer at: Leuphana University Lüne­burg, Goethe University Frankfurt, Hamburg Media School, and Design School Berlin.

“Keywords in Play” is an 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.

 

Keywords in Play Episode 8 - Lindsay Grace

Keywords in Play Episode 8 - Lindsay Grace

November 13, 2020

This episode we speak with Lindsay Grace about love and affection in games. Lindsay is Knight Chair in Interactive Media and an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Communication. He is Vice President for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance and the 2019 recipient of the Games for Change Vanguard award. Lindsay's book, Doing Things with Games, Social Impact through Design, is a well-received guide to game design. In 2020, he edited and authored Love and Electronic Affection: a Design Primer on designing love and affection in games.

“Keywords in Play” is an 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.

Keywords in Play Episode 7 - Malath Abbas

Keywords in Play Episode 7 - Malath Abbas

October 16, 2020

This episode we speak with Mal Abbas, an independent game designer, artist and producer working on experimental and meaningful games. Malath established Scotland's first game collective and co-working space Biome Collective, a diverse, inclusive melting pot of technology, art and culture for people who want to create, collaborate and explore games, digital art and technology. 

Work includes Killbox, an online game and interactive installation that critically explores the nature of drone warfare, its complexities and consequences, and Garden, a beautiful music based exploration interactive experience set in space.

“Keywords in Play” is an 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.

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

 
Keywords in Play Episode 6:Jamie Woodcock

Keywords in Play Episode 6:Jamie Woodcock

September 11, 2020

This episode we speak with Dr Jamie Woodcock. Jamie is a researcher based in London. He is the author of The Gig Economy (Polity, 2019), Marx at the Arcade (Haymarket, 2019), and Working The Phones (Pluto, 2017).

His research is inspired by the workers' inquiry. His research focuses on labour, work, the gig economy, platforms, resistance, organising, and videogames. He is on the editorial board of Notes from Below and Historical Materialism.

Jamie completed his PhD in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and has held positions at Goldsmiths, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Queen Mary, NYU London, Cass Business School, and the LSE.

“Keywords in Play” is an 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.

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Keywords in Play Episode 5: Eli Smith

Keywords in Play Episode 5: Eli Smith

August 17, 2020

This episode we have a departure from academia; a different approach to the creation and transmission of knowledge. We interview Eli Smith, Traditional Music Consultant for Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2. In our first COVID-19 recording (you may hear some sirens), we discuss the American music archive both as living tradition and recording technology, and the ways in which these interface with the virtual space of a digital game.

Eli is a folk singer, banjo player and guitarist who grew up in New York’s Greenwich Village.  Smith has recorded for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and regularly performs as a solo musician and with the string band the Down Hill Strugglers http://elismithmusic.blogspot.com/

“Keywords in Play” is an 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.

 

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Keywords in Play Episode 4 - Rob Gallagher

Keywords in Play Episode 4 - Rob Gallagher

July 17, 2020

“Keywords in Play” is an 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.

In this episode we speak with Rob Gallagher about "digital subjectivity". Rob was recently a postdoctoral researcher with the European Research Council-funded Ego Media Project at Kings College London, and is now a teaching fellow in literature and the digital at Royal Holloway, University of London. His book Videogames, Identity and Digital Subjectivity was published by Routledge in 2017.

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