dreamingdigitalplay:

we understand videogames, historically, as the aesthetic form of rationalization

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we therefore argue that any engagement with videogames as a medium must be conscious of the context of their production in a capitalist system

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we know that any analysis of videogames and their place within global capitalism must move beyond contexts of development and play to the extraction of resources and the production of material technologies

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we are skeptical towards technological progressivism — the belief, rampant in videogames culture, that technological development is linear and universally positive

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we see contemporary problems in videogames cultures as going beyond negative representations and the entitlement of white male consumer-kings, ultimately connecting to deeper issues around the dominant forms of videogames themselves

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we appreciate, nonetheless, the ability of digital games to facilitate playful relationships between people

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we consider play to be a powerful force for building relationships and imagining beyond our current circumstances

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we believe that games serve play and not the other way around

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we recognize games as abstractions designed by human beings

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we respect careful abstraction while reminding ourselves that the map is not the territory and that maps are political artifacts

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we build small things in resistance to the fantasy of the perfect simulation and the notion that scale correlates with importance

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we describe polish as poison not out of a romantic appreciation of roughness but because polish is an imperative of capital

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we value the glitch, not as crude aesthetic, but because it disrupts fantasy

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we distrust avatars because they too often function as glorified digital limbs

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we emphasize the giving and receiving of care as valuable functions of digital games and because caring has been marginalized as a form of feminine labour in favor of shocking, disturbing or, at best, enabling the player in the worst possible sense

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we cherish escapism insofar as it is a queer escape that challenges us to imagine beyond the here and now

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we dream of utopic worlds through play in the midst of bleakness — contrary to those who would dismiss our dreaming as a luxury — because it is in the bleakest moments that visions of alternatives are the most necessary


December 30, 2014