Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Author: gamesresearchnetwork (page 1 of 7)

Event: The Future of Esports

The Future of Esports: Challenging Work and Gender Issues in the UK’s Professional Computer Gaming Industry

Part of the Sociological Review Research Seminar Series

Funded by The Sociological Review Foundation

Wednesday, 16th August 2017
Ground Floor, ‘MadLab’, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN

‘Esports’ or electronic sports is the umbrella term for organised, competitive computer gaming usually played by paid professionals. It is an emerging entertainment market worth an estimated $1.5 billion and is comparable in size to many traditional sports, with audiences of tens, even hundreds, of millions of people worldwide. This one-day symposia seeks to build expertise between early career researchers, professional players, and industry experts who are interested in problematising the social, cultural, and economic dimensions of Esports. Sociological research on Esports has begun to highlight the precarious working conditions, such as temporary contracts and exploitative pay practices that characterise professional computer gaming. Similarly, early research into women and Esports suggests that these competitive gaming environments tend to reproduce ‘hegemonic masculinities’ which can leave women isolated and a structural disadvantage in terms of employment opportunities. At this moment, there is the need to launch fruitful and long-term collaborative research agendas to understand the nature of these issues, and establish the networks needed to bring about practical and sustainable social change. Papers and talks will be presented by academics, organisers, and campaigners, addressing a range of issues from exploitative labour practices, gender representation, social inclusion, as well as the challenges of studying player careers, and the complexities of different Esports ecologies.

read more

CFP: Indie Interfaces Symposium on indie game dev (Sep 28-30, Montréal)

Call for Papers – Indie Interfaces Symposium
Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre
Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
Thursday, September 28 – Saturday, September 30, 2017

Indie Interfaces” is an intimate industry-academic symposium designed to facilitate knowledge exchange between academics and influential actors working in the field of indie games. Held in Montréal, a city renowned for its diverse and vibrant game development communities, this pathbreaking event will combine roundtable discussions among industry attendees and academic research presentations to foster productive, critical dialogue and collaboration. Moving beyond definitional debates about what counts as indie, this symposium is intended to stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary academic work that can feed forward into game industry practices.

read more

The problem of treating play like work

BagoGames/flickr, CC BY

Tom Brock writes on ‘The problem of treating play like work – how esports can harm well-being’ in The Conversation this week.

Esports blurs the distinction between play and work by changing how players value the goals of gaming.

You can read the article on The Conversation, and listen Tom discuss the esports industry on The Anthill podcast All the world’s a game. This is a discussion that looks set to continue in academia, with Staffordshire University launching a BA (hons) eSports course in September 2018.

read more

Book review: Gewalt im Computerspiel: Facetten eines Vergnügens

Gewalt im Computerspiel: Facetten eines Vergnügens

(Violence in Computer Games: Aspects of a Pleasure)

By Christoph Bareither

transcript, 2016. ISBN: 978-3837635591

Christoph Bareither’s book is an investigation into the nature of the pleasure offered by the violent aspects of computer games. The approach is neither psychological nor pedagogical, but ethnographic, and there is a deliberate avoidance of the question as to why people like violence in computer games. Given that they do, it investigates instead the nature of that pleasure. The research is based on three main bodies of evidence: an historical survey of computer games magazines covering the period from 1983 until 2014; a selection of “Let’s Play” YouTube videos; and, finally, direct comments from gamers themselves obtained through interviews and through participating in multiplayer games with them. This evidence is used by Bareither to discover the emotional experiences that players have when interacting with computer-mediated representations of physical violence.

read more

Events: ‘Video Games and Representation’ (May) & ‘Practice and/as Media Industry Research’ (June)

Followers of the website may be interested in these two events:

Video Games and Representation Workshop May 2017
Workshop: Representation in video games / researching representation in industry and production
May 16th UCL Knowledge Lab, Central London
Free to attend, places are limited. Please email me to reserve your place (d.carr@ucl.ac.uk)
Convenors: Diane Carr and Caroline Pelletier
Confirmed speakers: Alison Harvey, Aphra Kerr, Helen Kennedy, Ewan Kirkland, Darshana Jayemanne, William Huber, Nina Seppala, Diane Carr, Caroline Pelletier

read more

Older posts