[csaa-forum] Caluya, 'Beyond Avatars', UNSW JMRC research seminar tomorrow, Thurs 17/9, 2-4pm

Gerard Goggin g.goggin at unsw.edu.au
Wed Sep 16 14:49:23 CST 2009

Journalism and Media Research Centre Research Seminars

Beyond Avatars:
Rethinking the Political in Online Game Worlds

Thursday 17 September, 2pm-4pm
Seminar Room, 3-5 Eurimbla St

Dr. Gilbert Caluya
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Hawke Research Institute, Uni SA

For over three decades now studies of videogames have tended to focus on the politics of representation. Nowhere has this been more prominent than in research into online games, which has tended to treat such games as a collection of avatars or otherwise as literary or visual texts. This presentation, drawn from over two years of online gaming in massively mutli-player online games (MMORPGs), argues that the research agenda into online gaming has largely been hijacked by the media panic surrounding videogames, which has ultimately misrepresented the political in online game worlds. Instead of letting offline politics define the research of online politics, this presentation argues for an 'in-game analysis' as a grounded-theory approach to studying online game worlds. This approach requires us to take seriously MMOs as complex social events constructed out of friendships and relationships but also as political landscapes full of intrigue and betrayal. This will allow us to see how the sociality of guilds, the politics of killing and the inflation of online economies are rich socio-political events that are imbricated with offline worlds.

Gilbert Caluya is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia. His most recent research focuses on the cultural geography of everyday fears. He has published several articles and chapters on embodiment, desire and emotion, which have relied on autoethnographic research. This presentation draws on his expertise in autoethnographic methods to explore the cultural geography of online worlds.

Gerard Goggin
Professor of Digital Communication
& Deputy Director
Journalism and Media Research Centre
University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052 NSW Australia
e: g.goggin at unsw.edu.au
w: +61 2 9385 8532
f: +61 2 9385 8528
m: +61 428 66 88 24

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