News Update: cultural significance, eSports, philosophy, games studies, serious play and social awareness

Welcome to another roundup of gaming news, where we draw together some recent stories from the media and elsewhere relevant to the Gaming Horizons project vision.

The Guardian continues to provide insightful and thought provoking writing in relation to gaming, with an article by Keith Stuart that reflects on the cultural significance of video games, considering how this impacts on the ways in which we think about them. Meanwhile, Tauriq Moosa suggests that there should be place in the Olympics for competitive eSports video gaming.  Jordan Erica Webber writes, also for the Guardian, on the ethics and philosophy of gaming in advance of a new book on the subject: ‘Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us: (about life, philosophy and everything)’

September sees a new edition of the Games and Culture journal, looking specifically at the field of games studies. This includes articles considering the concept of the game, the history and future of the discipline and the possibility of shifting focus towards player experience. They have also issued a call for papers for articles for a future edition on ‘Queerness and Video Games: New Critical Perspectives on LGBTQ Issues, Sexuality, Games, and Play’.

A new book entitled ‘Serious Play, Literacy, Learning and Digital Games’ by Beavis, Dezuanni and O’Mara explores ‘digital games’ capacity to engage and challenge, present complex representations and experiences, foster collaborative and deep learning and enable curricula that connect with young people today’.  

Researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University are looking for participants to help them to explore the complex relationship between player and avatar, particularly focussing on avatars that resemble the player themselves. A call for papers has been issued for a forthcoming McFarland published book relating to ‘women, video games and modding’.

Polygon report on a new game that seeks to combat the sex trafficking trade. Missing: The Complete Saga depicts the life of Champa, an ‘Indian village girl’, who is targeted by sex traffickers, as a means of raising awareness of the issues involved. Meanwhile, Mashable write about a game called Little Red Lie that seeks to tackle the ‘harsh reality of modern day poverty’.