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. 


News Update: Trump, Club Penguin, Calls for Papers and New Articles

This section of the website will be updated regularly to share recent media stories and research activity relevant to Gaming Horizon’s project vision. As such, we intend to link to a small selection of recent items that deal with the social or cultural issues around games, gaming and gamification.

In recent weeks, much of the media have been closely watching the early days of the new administration in America. Following Trump’s immigration ban, Gamasutra reported on the response of a group of game designers. The Guardian, meanwhile, featured this individual perspective, from game developer Rami Ismail, whilst Glixel spoke to Iranian game developer, Mahdi Bahrami.

Gamasutra reported that one of the earliest and most successful hybrid virtual world / social media sites for children, Club Penguin, is closing down to be relaunched on mobile devices. This move perhaps reflects changes in how children access and engage with videogames and technology that is targeted at them.

A number of forthcoming conferences have issued calls for papers:

Playful Learning Conference in Manchester (12-14 July 2017)  seeks papers in ‘all areas relating to playful learning in adult education’.

11th European Conference on Game Based Learning in Austria  (5-6 October 2017) are seeking papers to cover various issues and aspects of Game Based Learning in education and training.

devcom (22-24 August 2017) have announced ‘the first ever international developer conference’ to be held during gamescom in Cologne.

Finally, a new edition of the Games and Culture journal has been issued, featuring articles on Women’s Strategies for Coping With Harassment While Gaming Online by Amanda C. Cote and Experiences of War and Violence in First- and Third-Person Shooters by Holger Pötzsch.