Understanding the experience of Australian eSports spectatorship

Cumming David
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

This paper investigates the experience of physically attending a live eSports event in Australia. Although Australia has historically been relatively absent from globalised eSports, recent international interest has seen Australia host several major popular eSports events in 2017. To fully understand the appeal of these new prominent additions to the Australian eSports landscape, we must understand what characteristics constitute an Australian eSports event and how attendees experience it within the Australian cultural context. To achieve this, a case study and grounded theory-based approach was employed. 19 semi-structured interviews with attendees at two major Australian eSports events were conducted, observations of the events conducted by the researcher and video recorded of the online event streams. The four characteristics of entertainment, education, socialisation and active support, supported by 10 axial codes were found to constitute the experience of attending a live Australian eSports event in person.


Playing Whiteness in Crisis in The Last of Us and Tomb Raider

Murray Soraya
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

This paper examines the white normative figure under duress, through videogames that present a crisis in American narratives of progress: The Last of Us (Naughty Dog, 2013), set in a melancholic post-apocalyptic U.S.; and Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics, 2013), a reboot of the now-classic Lara Croft narrative that recasts the heroine as desperate and far from invincible. Using key concepts from critical whiteness studies, popular panics around the demographic shifts in the U.S. away from a white majority, and Richard Dyer’s theorizations, I show how "making whiteness strange" can decouple it from the normative, and rescue it from unattainable ideals and self-annihilating tendencies. Running the gauntlet between representing universal humanity and traumatized victimhood, whiteness in games takes a beating within a fraught Post-9/11 and Post-Obama moment of national transition. Through critical analysis of identity politics around whiteness in video games, larger cultural stakes are revealed.


Analysing Cultural Heritage and its Representation in Video Games

Balela Majed S. Mundy Darren
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

This paper outlines research towards strengthening our understanding of the representation of cultural artifacts in video games. The approach described outlines steps towards utilising a framework using dimensions of cultural heritage as reference points for games analysis. This framework is then used as a mechanism to analyse two games: Assassin’s Creed I and Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta. The case study analysis presents concerns regarding cultural representation in the selected games. This is followed by a discussion of the main concerns coming out of the analysis. These concerns are effectively grouped under five sections: ‘cultural appropriation’; ‘hollywoodisation and beautification’; ‘selectivity’; ‘game dynamics rule design decision’; and ‘ideological constraints’. The research raises issues about how video game designers approach the inclusion of items with cultural meaning in their products. Next stages in the work involve interviewing of games designers to better understand how the design decisions presented in this paper occur.


Cultures of Digital Gamers: Practices of Appropriation.

Wiemker Markus
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This essay will attempt to show that Anglo-American culture research can make a significant contribution to a better understanding of digital games, their production contexts and acquisition processes. A close examination of a game’s production context will shed light on structures, processes and ideologies which influence the development of a game on a conscious or unconscious level. The analysis of the game itself can reveal models of society presented in the game, intrinsic identification potentials and creative acquisition potentials. But the way the game is eventually adopted by the player can only be made clear by a close examination of its acquisition and the various forms of reception and enjoyment it induces.


Conditions of Engagement in Game Simulation: Contexts of Gender, Culture and Age

Noble Ralph Ruiz Kathleen Destefano Marc Mintz Jonathan
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

We advocate a research approach to determining the conditions of engagement in game simulation that is a multi-disciplinary cultural and scientific inquiry at the juncture of psychological, artistic, and programming perspectives. What are the factors that cause some people to become enthralled with detail-oriented simulation game-play, while others are captivated by more abstracted, symbolic styles of play? How are the conditions of engagement influenced by gender, culture, and age?


Role-Playing Games: The State of Knowledge [Panel Abstracts]

Drachen Anders Copier Marinka Montola Markus Eladhari Mirjam Hitchens Michael Stenros Jaakko
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Role-playing games form one of the major genres of games and exist across all hardware platforms as well outside of the technology domain in a huge variety of forms and formats. Role-playing oriented research has focused on culture, storytelling, game processes as well as e.g. user interaction, play experience and character design. Today role-playing games research is an established component of game studies. This panel presents a state of the art of the knowledge of role-playing games research covering a great variety of angles and interests, providing an overview of the current hot topics and future research directions within one of the key genres of games.


Visiting the Floating World: Tracing a Cultural History of Games Through Japan and America

Consalvo Mia
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

The goal of this paper is to establish a framework for better understanding the relationships between Japanese and American games in relation to that industry, visual styles, and cultural influence. To do that, this paper draws on a larger cultural history of Japan and America, and critiques and questions current and potential uses the concept of Orientalism in relation to digital games. In doing so, my hope is that we can arrive at a more sophisticated, nuanced understanding of that relationship, and use this framework for subsequent critical analysis.


Domesticating Play, Designing Everyday Life: The Practice and Performance of Family Gender, and Gaming

Enevold Jessica
2012 DiGRA Nordic '12: Proceedings of 2012 International DiGRA Nordic Conference

Playing digital games is now a common everyday practice in many homes. This paper deals with the constitution of such practices by taking a closer look at the material objects essential to play and their role in the “design of everyday life” (Shove et al 2007). It uses ethnographic method and anthropological practice theory to attend to the domestic spaces of leisure and play, the home environments, in which the large part of today’s practices of playing digital games takes place. It focuses on the stagings of material, not virtual, artifacts of gaming: screens, consoles, hand-held-devices essential to play and their locations and movements around the home. It demonstrates how everyday practices, seemingly mundane scenographies and choreographies, practically, aesthetically and technologically determined, order everyday space-time and artifacts, domesticate play and condition performances of family, gender and gaming. In the process, a history of the domestication of play unfolds.