July 31st

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

This week in our roundup of games writing from around the web, we go on a little meditative journey about our place in the world and how we act within it.

The digital is not flat

We start by asking who we are. The three pieces below destabilize our assumptions about the people and positions involved in game play. Who makes games, who plays them, and how does their design affect the way that we see ourselves?

“Pokémon Go, and its obvious geographical privilege reminds us that the digital is not flat. It is oriented towards a very obvious logic of geopolitical, economic, racial, and identity privileging that continues to promote some parts of the world as favoured standards of first access.”

Cops and critics

Next, we reflect on our place in the world around us — particularly, the institutions and systems that we belong to. What are the benefits of the institutions we exist within, and what is the price we pay for membership? Who benefits, and who is sacrificed?

“I had so many people see my talk at Congress, learn about middle state publishing, and then be incredibly sad that FPS only publishes scholarship about games. While game studies is the focus of FPS (and that isn’t changing) I strongly believe there should be an FPS in every discipline.”

Radical performance

Having recognised the systems within which we live, and understanding our own position within them, what do we do to make things better? These piecces all provide interpretations of the consequences of player action.

“If anything, the game is all too aware of how capitalist ideals structure our lives, which is why it suggests transcending them by turning life into a radical performance. Given how stylishly Jet Set Radio renders those performances, it’s hard not to be swayed by the game’s arguments.”


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