[-empyre-] Welcome to Week 1: Is green gaming an oxymoron?

Jeff Watson remotedevice at gmail.com
Tue Mar 3 17:10:45 AEDT 2020

Where does all this end, and what does it call upon those of us who
study and work with play and players? What does it mean to expect or
count on transnational industries to self-regulate, especially in
light of the onrushing climate catastrophe? In the United States, the
question is almost moot, as the Supreme Court has ruled that
videogames are speech and as such many forms of electronic
entertainment are difficult if not impossible to regulate outside of
that framing (see Brown, Governor of California, et Al. v.
Entertainment Merchants Association et Al: (548122013-001). 08–1448,
27 June 2011, doi:10.1037/e548122013-001). Further, how can/do our
resistive recuperations and appropriations of the videogame reckon
with the realities of the industries that not only provide the
material and software infrastructures upon which our appropriations
can function (frequently made at great expense to the planet and to
the lives of miners, refiners, assemblers, shippers, and other
laborers), but also in turn can re-appropriate resistive
appropriations themselves for their own market purposes, effectively
transforming alternative game-making into a kind of free-labor
skunkworks (as fellow guest poster Bo Ruberg has written about; see
Ruberg, Bonnie. 2019. “The Precarious Labor of Queer Indie
Game-Making: Who Benefits from Making Video Games ‘Better’?”
Television & New Media. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527476419851090.)?
What are alternative futures for games, and for the ways creators and
players relate to (or do not relate to) the logics of the electronic
entertainment industries? Can the videogame's powerful capabilities to
represent systems provide an opening for discussions not only about
the reality of the climate crisis, but also about the realities of the
electronic entertainment industries as they relate to that crisis?


Jeff Watson, USC School of Cinematic Arts

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