First Person Podcast Episode 10

Press A to Boob: Women's Sexuality in Video Games

Two women shown standing close together

In this Podcast (which is Elise and Emma’s last podcast!) we have a conversation about sex and sexuality in gaming that discusses a lot of topics that don’t really get covered in game studies very often! These topics Include: the difference between in game sexuality and sexualizing characters, the differences between depictions of sexuality in video games and depictions of sexuality in film, sexual awakenings via video games, our first video game crushes, Bioware games, queer representation, and “the gay button”. Furthermore, we wonder if women attracted to women can appropriate or inhabit the male gaze that is so prominent and games and we ask a lot of questions including: why does it feel like there are there so many queer women in game studies? When is sex in videogames sexy? When is it horribly unsexy? Will better graphics make a difference? And, ironically, did videogames make me gay? Continue Reading

The Ethics of Commodification:

Game Modding and the New Digital Economy

With the emergence of the active Web 2.0 user and their relationship with affective labour, more media consumers have transformed into producers. Despite the liberation that this has offered some, cyberspace has allowed institutions to wield corporate and political power over Internet users by providing the tools for them to effectively commodify themselves (Hermosillo). Through collective intelligence, which Henry Jenkins qualifies as the mobilization of the skills of the masses, companies have been accused of appropriating online user-generated content for commercial purposes. As a result, theorists such as Tiziana Terranova have insisted that the new digital economy that is run by “free labor” consumes culture by embracing productive activities while simultaneously exploiting them. Continue Reading

Meaningful Play

Anti-Immersive Aesthetics in Serious Videogames

Educational and/or serious videogames have seldom been popular among mainstream game audiences, but that hasn’t stopped the recent onslaught of indie developers from trying to use their games to explore complex themes outside the realm of pure entertainment. Games that try to engage players in meaningful play are often criticized for not being enjoyable. Yet, is that because they aren’t well designed, or is it because audiences aren’t used to games that don’t try to heavily immerse them in computer graphics? Continue Reading