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Emerging practices in the virtual world of video games are opening up new fronts for resistance in real-life struggles for social justice. This interactive, multimedia workshop gives participants an overview of artistic and activist interventions that subvert expected forms of video game consumption. Examples of countergaming will illustrate the potential for this often vilified medium to be used as a space for action around a range of vital issues including gender justice, anti-militarism, and rights to a public space that is not always material.

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  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • *video games are the dominant form of media of our age
    - informal youth survey analogy - TV comes 3rd as media source after video games and internet
    - games have superseded hollywood in terms of sales
    - games are not strictly youth culture anymore, demographic moving beyond age and gender specificity (STATS)
    *games are the paradigmatic cultural form of our age that reflect the cultural/political/economic milieu of our times
    - game logic works both in game texts and in the broader cultural logic
    - examples (stock markets, game theory, war, test-based education, social entrepeneurship etc...)
    *key theoretical models of games as defining logic of our era:
    -algorithmic culture, protological culture (Galloway)
    - the gamespace (Wark)
    *these build on broader philosophical & sociological models of contemporary culture in the post-Fordist era
    -Control Society (D&G)
    -Network Society (Castells)
    -Empire (H&N)

  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • BUT
    * very important when thinking about the politics/economics/culture of games not to lose sight of the material labour that goes unseen in the West
    -Mining
    -Assembly
    * overlap of Foucault’s Disciplinary Society and D&G’s Control Society
  • Key Dilemma:
    *how do you fight the gamespace when you’re in the gamespace? (TRON image?)
    *rejection is not an option

  • Key Dilemma:
    *how do you fight the gamespace when you’re in the gamespace? (TRON image?)
    *rejection is not an option

  • Key Dilemma:
    *how do you fight the gamespace when you’re in the gamespace? (TRON image?)
    *rejection is not an option

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • Countergaming:
    *existing theories:
    -Galloway
    -artistic movement
    -modeled on new wave cinema
    -Apperley & Dieter
    -disruptive emergence
    -de Peuter & Dyer-Witheford
    -potential to divert power from corporate interests given multitude as original source of gamic culture and innovation
    *my own approach:
    -synthesises all of the above
    -focuses on the strategies of counterplay from the perspective of a social movement media maker/educator/activist
    -refer back to digipoped presentation - literacies -> power - reading/writing/rewriting the world

  • eg: Militarist and Countermilitarist play
    *given the strong relationship between video games and militarism, not surprising that many key examples of counterplay address war
    *superquick description of MEC:
    -at most obvious level America’s Army, drone wars
    -also more broadly as the driving organisational/cultural logic of the gamespace (Wark)
    *2 examples on this one issue illustrate an important thread in thinking about counterplay towards social justice action - bridging of physical and simulated spaces
  • eg: Militarist and Countermilitarist play
    *given the strong relationship between video games and militarism, not surprising that many key examples of counterplay address war
    *superquick description of MEC:
    -at most obvious level America’s Army, drone wars
    -also more broadly as the driving organisational/cultural logic of the gamespace (Wark)
    *2 examples on this one issue illustrate an important thread in thinking about counterplay towards social justice action - bridging of physical and simulated spaces
  • eg: Militarist and Countermilitarist play
    *given the strong relationship between video games and militarism, not surprising that many key examples of counterplay address war
    *superquick description of MEC:
    -at most obvious level America’s Army, drone wars
    -also more broadly as the driving organisational/cultural logic of the gamespace (Wark)
    *2 examples on this one issue illustrate an important thread in thinking about counterplay towards social justice action - bridging of physical and simulated spaces
  • eg: Militarist and Countermilitarist play
    *given the strong relationship between video games and militarism, not surprising that many key examples of counterplay address war
    *superquick description of MEC:
    -at most obvious level America’s Army, drone wars
    -also more broadly as the driving organisational/cultural logic of the gamespace (Wark)
    *2 examples on this one issue illustrate an important thread in thinking about counterplay towards social justice action - bridging of physical and simulated spaces
  • dead-in-iraq
    *describe:
    -Joseph deLappe as activist/artist/academic
    -Networked AA
    -describe project
    -enter game
    -drop weapon
    -speak names of dead US military
    *SCREEN CLIP?
    -setup - text hard to read due to video quality - i’ll summarise
    *discuss:


  • Domestic Tension
    *describe
    -Wafaa Bilal
    -refugee from Iraq to US
    -brother killed by US
    -describe project
    -website with FPS gamelike interface
    -artist in gallery space for 30 days (short breaks)
    -paintball gun
    -chatroom
    -vlog
    *SCREEN CLIP?
    day 24 01:55 - 04:12 (Memorial Day)
    http://www.youtube.com/mewafaa#p/u/10/OWUfROO6-34
    day 26 00:00 - 02:00 (Virtual Human Shield)
    http://www.youtube.com/mewafaa#p/u/6/xr9Y9suPyOc
  • Domestic Tension
    *describe
    -Wafaa Bilal
    -refugee from Iraq to US
    -brother killed by US
    -describe project
    -website with FPS gamelike interface
    -artist in gallery space for 30 days (short breaks)
    -paintball gun
    -chatroom
    -vlog
    *SCREEN CLIP?
    day 24 01:55 - 04:12 (Memorial Day)
    http://www.youtube.com/mewafaa#p/u/10/OWUfROO6-34
    day 26 00:00 - 02:00 (Virtual Human Shield)
    http://www.youtube.com/mewafaa#p/u/6/xr9Y9suPyOc
  • *both highlight and seek to blur the dividing line of Huizinga’s “Magic Circle” (socially agreed “safe” space separating game from real life)
    *both involve performance, highlight the relation of material bodies to virtual space
    *both subvert the “norms” of play while adhering to the “rules” of the game. ie: you’re supposed to try not to get shot, shoot back.
    *both force player/users to make decisions, confront their own agency.

  • *both highlight and seek to blur the dividing line of Huizinga’s “Magic Circle” (socially agreed “safe” space separating game from real life)
    *both involve performance, highlight the relation of material bodies to virtual space
    *both subvert the “norms” of play while adhering to the “rules” of the game. ie: you’re supposed to try not to get shot, shoot back.
    *both force player/users to make decisions, confront their own agency.

  • *both highlight and seek to blur the dividing line of Huizinga’s “Magic Circle” (socially agreed “safe” space separating game from real life)
    *both involve performance, highlight the relation of material bodies to virtual space
    *both subvert the “norms” of play while adhering to the “rules” of the game. ie: you’re supposed to try not to get shot, shoot back.
    *both force player/users to make decisions, confront their own agency.

  • *both highlight and seek to blur the dividing line of Huizinga’s “Magic Circle” (socially agreed “safe” space separating game from real life)
    *both involve performance, highlight the relation of material bodies to virtual space
    *both subvert the “norms” of play while adhering to the “rules” of the game. ie: you’re supposed to try not to get shot, shoot back.
    *both force player/users to make decisions, confront their own agency.

  • *both highlight and seek to blur the dividing line of Huizinga’s “Magic Circle” (socially agreed “safe” space separating game from real life)
    *both involve performance, highlight the relation of material bodies to virtual space
    *both subvert the “norms” of play while adhering to the “rules” of the game. ie: you’re supposed to try not to get shot, shoot back.
    *both force player/users to make decisions, confront their own agency.

  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change
  • Limits to Counterplay
    *legal & techincal
    -EULA violations
    -might be the point of a particular countergaming action (eg SLLA avatar rights movement)
    -might result in banning, restriction of dissent in the gamespace
    *capture
    -the gamespace absorbs dissent, makes it part of the game (eg LBP builds game around hacks - free labour)
    *over-virtuality
    -confusion of action in virtual environments with material action (eg clicktivism)
    *elitist aestheticisation
    -expression ≠ change

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