Human, all too non-Human: Coop AI and the Conversation of Action

Simon Bart
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper considers the cultural sociological questions that might begin to be asked when players understand themselves to be cooperating rather than competing with the computer when they play digital games. Coop play with game AI in games like Call of Duty provides the basis for understanding human relationships with computers and machines in a way that may differ from the cultural historical antagonism embodied in a game like computer chess. This investigation also opens the doors for the analysis of emergent play in human-computer interaction.


Family Values: Ideology, Computer Games & Sims

Sicart Miguel
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

This article discusses some ideological issues related with the simulation of social systems in The Sims, proposing an interpretation of The Sims as an ideological game. This paper will focus on describing The Sims as a social simulator of a postcapitalist society: what The Sims proposes as an ideological game is a simulation of a specific set of values linked with a capitalist culture. Therefore, it can be considered not as a social simulator, but as a simulator of an ideology of modern capitalist societies. The last goal of this article is, then, to propose an analysis of the relation between rules, gameplay and ideology in certain computer game simulations.


Girls and Gaming: Gender Research, “Progress” and the Death of Interpretation

Jenson Jennifer de Castell Suzanne
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper is about the persistent absence of critical interpretation in work focused on gender and gameplay. Since its beginnings, research (and resulting practice) in this area has moved little if at all from the early work in the path-breaking Cassells and Jenkins volume dedicated to girls and gaming. In the currently very well-regarded and oft-cited volume on “girl-friendly” game design, Sheri Graner-Ray re-instates the gamut of gender stereotypes by now so familiar as to have become “canonical” for the field. In this paper we illustrate some theoretical, research, and practice dilemmas, and, drawing upon sophisticated interpretive work in gender studies and on socio-cultural approaches to research, we propose some tactics for rethinking the very terms and conditions of this by now clearly resilient orthodoxy about “what girls like best,” arguing that until we are able to be surprised by its findings, we can be fairly confident that games studies research into gender accomplishes little beyond re-instating and further legitimating inequality of access, condition and opportunity. This is no game: no fun, and no fair.