March 21, 2006

Call for Submissions: Games and Culture

Filed under:Ludology, News, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 12:38 pm

To break the silence, here’s the call for submissions for Games and Culture. The first issue of the journal, which came out in January 2006, can be viewed through a free trial membership. The next issue is due out in April. The journal discusses:

Games and Culture’s scope will include the socio-cultural, political, and economic dimensions of gaming from a wide variety of perspectives, including textual analysis, political economy, cultural studies, ethnography, critical race studies, gender studies, media studies, public policy, international relations, and communication studies. Other possible arenas include:

* Issues of gaming culture related to race, class, gender, and sexuality

* Issues of game development

* Textual and cultural analysis of games as artifacts

* Issues of political economy and public policy in both US and international arenas

Right up our ally, eh?

Via Virgule on LJ.


February 27, 2006

Reconstructing Video Games

Filed under:Feminism, Gender, Ludology, News, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 1:50 pm

Just as I’m identifying the social body as a type of virtual body for my research paper on the traffic of virtual bodies, I find the latest issue of Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture is on The Play’s the Thing: Games, Gamers and Gaming Cultures via Academic Gamers.

Articles of interest include Geeks at Play: Doing Masculinity in an Online Gaming Site, More Than Girlfriends, Geekettes, and Gladiatixes: Women, Feminism, and Fantasy Role-Playing Games, and When a Killer Body Isn’t Enough’: Cross-Gender Identification in Action-Adventure Video Games, among lots of other titles.

I’ll review the journal when I can and hopefully report back with my responses to some of the articles.


February 5, 2006

CFP: Videogames and the Alien/Other

Filed under:Gender, Ludology, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 1:19 am

Via Academic Gamers, there is a call for papers for Second Annual University of Florida Game Studies Conference. The topic is Videogames and the Alien / Other. Suggested themes and topics:

Presenters should focus their submissions on one of several key themes:

* Player-Characters and the function of the outsider

* Gaming cultures and subcultures

* Portraying gender, race, religion and the avatar

* Monstrosity, bodies and avatars

* Otherness and online societies (e.g. MMORPG’s)

* Xenophobia and alterity in representations of ‘enemies.’

* Designing the Alien/Other through AI and NPCs

* Video game villains and anti-heroes

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

* The Other and the industry — the role of independent game developers.

* Localization and the alleged erasure of cultural difference through video games.

* Marketing and approaching new demographics.

* Becoming the Other in online role-playing communities.

* Colonialism and Orientalism within historical simulations.

* The representation (or lack) of religious pluralism in video games.

* Representations of race, gender, and/or sexual preference in games.

* The Evolution of the Alien/Other in games.

* Becoming Other — choosing a moral path inKOTOR or Black and White.

* Subversive game play.

* Psychoanalysis, video games and the other/Other.

* Becoming Alien/Other in online games.

* Alien/Other and the differences inherent in console or interface configurations.

* Close studies of specific Alien/Others and tropes of Alien/Otherness.

I look forward to seeing what papers are produced, and hope women as the other in video games will be explored.

Abstracts are due March 1, 2006.


January 4, 2006

Playing With Others

The latest issue of The Daedalus Project is out, including Playing With Someone (Part 2). The study focuses on MMO players who play with romantic partners and their parents or children.

As a single Final Fantasy XI player, I find it interesting that:

About 80% of female players and 60% of male players are in a romantic relationship. On a tangential note, this gives rise to an interesting “singles” imbalance. If we assume an 85:15 gender ratio and the noted singles rate, then for every single woman in an MMO, there are 10 single men.

I didn’t realize I am quite so outnumbered. My linkshell (guild) on FFXI seems to have a fairly even gender balance. I plan on bringing this up next time I play (which unfortunately probably won’t be for a while–my courses just started and I don’t have a PC).

I find it interesting that almost 27% of female MMO players are introduced by a romantic partner, versus 1.1% of males introduced by a romantic partner. I’m curious how many of the respondents are in same sex relationships.

In other news, the latest issue of the Carnival of Feminists is out over at reappropriate.