Eight Speculative Theses

on GamerGate

Commentary - Theses on GamerGate

There is nothing conclusive to be said about enduring violence save that it endures through its violence. When encountering the shifting yet systemic violence perpetuated by elements of a gaming culture obsessed with finding pleasure and prestige in the very play of violence, the individuated enunciation of critical theory finds itself tasked with sharpening the aphoristic insight. By embracing the strategy of the inconclusive and epigrammatic, the tension of play and desire at the intersection of technocapitalism, gender, and power can be articulated to the gaming cultures of militarisation. Continue Reading

Cognitive Dissonance

A Scholarly Roundtable on GamerGate - Part II

Special - Roundtable on GamerGate

What approaches need to be taken to assess the scope, actions, and meaning of GamerGate? A number of questions arise when considering GamerGate in light of its persistence and complexity. Is GamerGate, as Ryan Broderick argues, the last gasp of… Continue Reading

Procedural Ethics

Expanding the Scope of Procedures in Games

Essay - Procedural Ethics

In this article I put forward the idea of procedural ethics. Procedural ethics is a way of studying videogames, videogame culture, and the videogames industry that focuses on both the computational and ethical aspects of gaming. This theory is born from the desire to move beyond some of the limitations of current theories used to study games, making questions of ethics and people central to any study of games. Procedural ethics argues that procedures are not just the in-game algorithms, images, and text that force the player to make a decision or to agree to participate in a particular world. Rather, they are made up of everything that went into that procedure being programmed, including the developer’s history, the community, and the player’s experiences, as well as the socio-cultural context surrounding the game and the player. Continue Reading

On ‘Gamers’ And Identity

A First Person Scholar Highlight

Commentary - On Gamers and Identity

First Person Scholar Highlights are a way for us to boost the visibility of the excellent games writing on the web. These are (in our humble opinion) timely, thought-provoking, and well-argued pieces that contribute significantly to the tenor and tone of existing games discourse. This inaugural Highlight is “On ‘Gamers’ and Identity,” a blog post (cross-posted, with permission, from Liz Ryerson’s excellent blog) that does an incredible job of navigating the personal in constellation with broader social and theoretical contexts surrounding the recent controversies in the videogame industry. If you enjoyed this commentary, please consider contributing to Liz’s Patreon. Continue Reading