Feminist Games

quo magis speculativa, magis practica

Month: November, 2013

reading the politics of admittance in games

Dear Daniel,

Thanks for your thoughts on the article that I passed along last week. In hindsight, I apologize for sending what was a dense piece of work. I had honestly not read it in a few months, so spending this weekend to re-read it was both a joy and a regret—this is how academia tends to spoil people’s social minds.

For other people who may not know what we’re talking about, I sent you an article penned by Rey Chow, a Chinese-American cultural critic, specializing in 20th-century Chinese fiction and film and postcolonial theory. This post makes reference to Chapter 5: The Politics of Admittance in The Rey Chow Reader, edited by Paul Bowman. The article offers a reading and critique of how Freud and Fanon articulate the relationships between community formation, race, and sexuality. It was first published in 1995.

Now, why did I send it? I suppose because I read postcolonialism as a project that (in part) grapples with the practice of equality and inclusivity. I find Chow’s article helpful in thinking about the ways in which communities are formed in and around videogames. Read the rest of this entry »

playing with game

Dear Raph,

here are some thoughts on your presentation slides. hopefully this is a better articulation of the brief criticism I gave earlier.

“games are things we play”

we can think of games as: networks of signs, spaces of possibility, mechanical signifiers
games are an expression of ^the constituent parts^ within an “acceptable” range of mathematical complexity
(so say the slides)

let me propose a slight re-thinking:
games are imposed structures (yes: signs, spaces, mechanisms—also, logics (ideologies//”cultural orientations,” subject/verb/object constructions, materialism, etc)) on which we shape “play” into a rehearsal (yes: an mathematically complex expression) that reinforces or maintains the structure itself.*

so, an acceptable “rehearsal” is temporally contingent on
an ability to understand and execute a performance on command,

and the heuristics (provided or borrowed from elsewhere)
serve to functionally guess (as you said) the
complexity and formulation of the “win.” Read the rest of this entry »

no answers

Reduction plays a particular part

in elevating the emotional arc. Read the rest of this entry »

puzzles or poison?


candy-crushWhen I first played Candy Crush at GDC 2013 in San Francisco, I was offended by the condescending circus cartoons that seem to mock your progress (or lack thereof) at every turn. I quit playing after one game thinking, Pokemon Puzzle League is so much better than this.

Fast-forward 3 months and I’m sitting on the subway in London. My partner is sitting next to me crushing candies, and I am bored. He eventually waves me away; Get your own game, he says.

I’ve crushed candies most everyday since; but I think my friends believe that the game has been playing me instead. Read the rest of this entry »

a lost letter


Perhaps one day I will have a greater understanding of the external(ized) systems that infatuate you both. I wasn’t reared to build a real-ationship with the notation of mathematics; for [reasons], cultural language (the haphazard abstraction of internalized and unobservable systems) and I have gotten along better. So, my meditations these last several weeks have been a fun, self-guided education in collapsing ideas from your (pl.) world into my own. With some distance now from GDC, I’d like to share with you some [temporally located] conclusions I’ve made about my future.

Read the rest of this entry »