PoC in early game studies

2wywazPoC were doing amazing work in those formative years of game studies.

This groundbreaking work is still something I come back to today in my current research on avatars. Particularly the work of Lisa Nakumara in Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet (2002). Chapter 2 of this book “headhunting on the internet” is an important account of issues around avatars and identity which are still very much relevant today for scholars of videogames and social media.

The importance of this work was underscored to me by Dean Chan, an Australian-based scholar and performance artist that was doing amazing work on Australian Born Chinese identities and popular culture. Two key pieces on games to come out of his project were “Negotiating Intra-Asian Games Networks: On Cultural Proximity, East Asian Games Design, and Chinese Farmers” in The Fibreculture Journal (as part of this excellent special issue) and “Playing with Race: The Ethics of Racialized Representations in E-Games” in the International Review of Information Ethics, which I’ve located a copy of here.

Dean went on to edit a really great special issue of Games and Culture in 2008 with Larissa Hjorth and a collection in 2009 on Routledge Gaming Cultures and Place in Asia-Pacific. In particular, one scholar’s work was super useful to me: Jun-Sok Huhh, who did awesome work on cybercafes in S. Korea.

Anna Everett’s work was also very useful to me. Her chapter in The Handbook of Computer Game Studies (2005) ‘Serious Play: Playing with Race in Contemporary Gaming Culture,’ is an important early piece of games and race. She also has an awesome book on race and digital networked media Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace.

One other useful resource on race and games was this article ‘What Yellowface Hides: Video Games, Whiteness, and the American Racial Other‘ by Anthony Sze-Fai Shiu in The Journal of Popular Culture.

In the present amazing scholars such as Kishonna Gray, Soraya Murray, Souvik Mukherjee, Darshana Jayemanne and B. Coleman have added a great deal to my own understanding and approach to my research area. I’m also really excited by a few scholars that are working on indigenous issues and videogames, particularly Elizabeth LaPensee and Rhett Loban.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, just thinking about work that has helped, engaged and enthused me in the past, happy to hear about other scholars and work I should check out 🙂


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