The politics of game canonization: Tales from the frontlines of creating a national history of games

Glas René van Vught Jasper
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

In this paper, we provide insight into the politics of forming a national games canon by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, one of the biggest audiovisual cultural heritage institutions in the Netherlands. From a historiographical perspective, the paper investigates how different stakes and commitments of the different actors involved (the authors included) during the different stages of admission and selection are inherently connected. From a unique insider's perspective, we recognize that more pragmatic concerns around preservation and archival efforts of the Institute collapse with the socioculturally-driven aims of the canon as a history of Dutch games, a process we call the politics of acquisition.


Anxiety, Openness, and Activist Games:A Case Study for Critical Play

Flanagan Mary Lotko Anna
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper explores the boundaries of social issues or‘activist’ games with a case study on a popular gamereleased in 2009 which fosters a critical type of play amongthe audience. We assess the game’s public reception tobetter understand how contradictory play elements led to ananxiety of ambiguity during open play. Borrowing from the“poetics of open work,” we will demonstrate how the mostpowerful play experience in activist games result from anew relationship formed between the audience and theplayer through mechanics, subject position, representation,and content.