[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 2 on -empyre: GAMES AND REPRESENTATION

Murat Nemet-Nejat muratnn at gmail.com
Thu Apr 16 06:52:48 AEST 2015

"... when our culture discusses videogames, it mentions corporations,
blockbusters, and a hyper-masculinized “gaming” culture. rarely does the
idea of the small, authored, self-published game get much air in our
discussion of art, even though it’s these games that are the most important
to games’ relevance to a broader range of human experience. nothing is more
harmful to an art form than a monolithic perspective or the restriction of
the means of creation to a privileged few."

The above quote from Isabelle's post parallels the idea I expressed in my
own that the tensions that exist in the game community (relating to gender
or otherwise) exists in a capitalist economy in general where numbers play
a crucial part: between mainstream and indie or popular literature and
poetry, etc. My world is a community of poets where a sale of 300 copies of
a poetry book is considered a reasonable success (whether written by a
woman or a man) and sales reaching over 2,000 would be considered a
smashing hit.

Shira, thank you again for your lucid response. I was struck by what seems
to be a statistical contradiction in your account. You assert that about
50% of players of digital games are women. At the same time, the majority
of users of AAA consuls are men. Does that mean that women tend to use
mobile devices to play games? If that is partially so, then the
contradiction has a temporal dimension, mobile devices (iphones, etc.)
being a more contemporary use of digital access than consuls or desktops.
In that case, the discrepancy may reflect the social evolution on gender
and sexual identity issues. It is a hopeful sign, a sign of progress. This
doesn't mean that the misogynistic culture that seems to be around AAA
games will vanish, only that its existence will become less dominant unless
it changes itself, more with a touch of the archaic.

Isabelle's entire post shows, at least to me, that vital critical work is
being created by women digital artists in our time. That mainstream forces
(such as in France) will try to ignore or restrict the propagation of its
messages goes without saying. But that is the lot of every radical or
confrontational art. Its lucky practitioners must accept it.


On Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 3:06 PM, Soraya Murray <semurray at ucsc.edu> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear All,
> I would like to heartily thank Brenda Laurel, Shira Chess, Stacey Mason,
> Sarah Schoemann, TreaAndrea Russworm and Jen Malkowski for their thoughtful
> and compelling contributions to this week's discussion on Games and
> Representation. We could surely have dedicated an entire month to this
> conversation. Thanks, too, to all the empyreans who joined in. I'm excited
> by the rich opportunities and avenues of inquiry that largely remain
> undiscovered in the study of games. There is a great deal of work to be
> done in this relatively new area, and I am particularly heartened by the
> ways in which a new generation of players, makers, critics and scholars are
> taking this burgeoning medium into their own hands in new and exciting ways.
> In a separate post, I will begin this week's conversation, generally
> grouped around the subject of the Internet and Representation.
> With appreciation,
> Soraya
> ___________________________
> Soraya Murray, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Film + Digital Media Department
> University of California, Santa Cruz
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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