Alesha Serada is a PhD student and a researcher at the University of Vaasa, Finland. Their dissertation, supported by the Nissi Foundation, discusses construction of value in games and art on blockchain. Inspired by their Belarusian origin, their research interests revolve around exploitation, violence, horror, deception and other banal and non-banal evils in visual media. In this episode we discuss Alesha’s paper “‘Died from Debeeration’: the Case of the First Belarusian Political Game” which characterises the game MENSKBand in the context of cultural, technical and political change in Belarus.
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.
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Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed, Bettina Bodi.
Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart
Double Bass: Aaron Stewart
Transcription: Charly Harbord