News Update: Pokemon, Gamergate, Griefing, Violence, Consoles and Conferences.

Welcome to our second, fortnightly round-up of news that draws upon recent discussions around gaming, relevant to the Gaming Horizons project.

In the month that saw new Pokemon added to the game, Vice reflects on the relatively short-lived moment last year where Pokemon Go became a genuine cultural and social phenomenon. Whilst the game retains a significant user base, its initial mass appeal seems to have dwindled, raising questions around how to keep players motivated at a level that reflects their initial interest in a game.

Meanwhile, employing a fairly loose definition of the word console, The Guardian presents an interesting (albeit perhaps easily contestable) list of the ten most influential home gaming machines.

Gizmodo report that a ‘Women in Games’ exhibition is to open in New York in 2018, celebrating how ‘women have shaped every aspect of video games’. Also with regard to gaming and gender, The Verge report that the FBI have released their Gamergate files. They suggest that these papers disappointingly demonstrate the insufficient nature of the response provided by authorities to the aggression and harassment faced by many involved.

A task force of experts assembled by the American Psychological Association have produced a meta-analysis of recent papers around videogame violence. They conclude that ‘violent video game use is a risk factor for adverse outcomes’ but suggest that further work is necessary to establish whether there is ‘any potential link between violent video game use and delinquency or criminal behaviour’.

The Journal of Computer Culture have published an interesting article by Tom Brock on the ‘apophatic’ dimension of videogame play, exploring what might be perceived as ‘subversive’ aspects of player motivation, considering the role of behaviours involving griefing and failure. 

DIGRA report that there is a call for papers for a half-day workshop on eSports at The University of Melbourne, Australia in July. 

Finally, the Valuing the Visual Literacies conference, at Sheffield University in the UK have issued a call for papers for their conference in June. This call, focussing on visual literacies, includes a request for presentations on gaming.