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School of Graduate Studies

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School of Graduate Studies

Ludopolitics: Videogames against Control

Ludopolitics: Videogames against Control
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Scott House
Senior Common Room
Cultural Studies PhD Salon Seminar - Dr. Liam Mitchell

What can videogames tell us about the politics of contemporary technoculture, and how are designers and players responding to its impositions?  To what extent do the technical and aesthetic features of videogames index our assumptions about the world and the social configuration they entail?  And how can we use games to identify and shift those assumptions and configurations?  In this talk, I respond to these questions by presenting some of the central arguments of my book, Ludopolitics: Videogames against Control – that videogames promise players the opportunity to map and master worlds; that they offer closed systems that are perfect and perfectible, in principle if not in practice; and that although they provide players with a means of escape from a world that can be unpredictable and unjust, they aren’t only escapism.  Designers and players alike routinely engage in immanent, experimental, and effective critiques of the fantasy of control, and in this talk, I present a few of their playful results.

Associate Professor Liam Mitchell is the Chair of the Department of Cultural Studies and the Coordinator of the Media Studies program.  His work theorizes the relationship between media, culture, and the political by paying close attention to particular technological artifacts, practices, and phenomena, particularly those objects associated with new or digital media.  In doing so, it shows how digital media  both drive and describe the order of things.

Posted on January 7, 2019