The Keywords for Video Game Studies graduate interest group, which also represents the Simpson Center and UW as HASTAC Scholars, are co-hosting an online forum on video game studies on the Humanities, Arts, Science, Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) website.  The forum, entitled “Press Start to Continue: Toward a New Video Game Studies,” addresses the following provocations:

1) New Approaches to Video Games

  • How do games matter to the digital humanities?
  • What are the affordances and constraints of video game studies?  Pedagogy?  Platforms?  Politics?  Everyday practice?
  • How might we further interdisciplinary, multimodal approaches to video game studies (beyond the ludology/narratology debate, beyond the ethnography of players and synthetic worlds census-taking, beyond the “close”/“distant,” beyond serious/casual)?
  • How might video games help bridge the gap between analog and digital archives, between cultural criticism and computational tools and methods?
  • How might you ‘queer’ video game studies?

2) Video Games Pedagogy

  • How do you teach video games as objects of study?  How do you teach with video games?
  • What are the benefits/challenges of teaching (with) games?
  • How might video games complicate and challenge notions of “digital natives” or “digital labor”?

3) Gamefulness vs. Gamification

  • How might video games encourage discussions about the role and importance of “play” in the digital humanities?  What about gamification and the digital humanities?
  • What are the various ways that gaming and gamification are at play in both our everyday lives and academic lives? What is the difference between the two?
  • How might video game design (and play) be a critical practice?  What are critical approaches to and critiques of “flow”?

The forum hosts include Amanda Phillips (English, UC Santa Barbara), Ergin Bulut (Institute of Communications Research, University of Illinois), Alenda Chang (Rhetoric, UC Berkeley), Melody Dworak (School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Iowa), Grace Hagood (Rhetorics and Composition, University of South Carolina), and John Carter McKnight (Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, Arizona State University).

Edmond Chang
Edmond Y. Chang is a newly arrived Assistant Professor of English at Drew University. His areas of interest include technoculture, gender and sexuality, cultural studies, video games, popular culture, and contemporary American literature. He earned his Ph.D. from University of Washington and his dissertation is entitled “Technoqueer: Re/con/figuring Posthuman Narratives.” He has extensive teaching experience at the university level and won the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award in 2011 and the UW Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009. He has taught classes on re-reading high school novels, science fiction, Harry Potter, technology and identity, even live-action role-playing games. He has published an article “Gaming as Writing, Or, World of Warcraft as World of Wordcraft” in the Fall 2008 Computers & Composition Online Special Issue on “Reading Games” and an article on queering cyberpunk and an article on Alan Turing are in progress. He has a cat named Groosalugg.

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