Game Studies 101

Game Studies 101 (GS101) is on online archive of games, criticism, and scholarship. Its goal is to open up the study of games across disciplines, campuses, and organizations by making accessible various foundational works in game studies, criticism, and design.

Lost Wage Rampage

“Two mall shop-girls find out they’ve been stiffed wages that the men in their department haven’t. Can you help them make up the difference?” – About, Lost Wage Rampage

The Gamer’s Gaze

“With very few exceptions, a film director or a game designer doesn’t set out actively thinking, “I am going to make this to appeal directly to straight white men and everyone else can get bent.” Rather, the likelihood is high that the creator himself is a straight white male, and so comes to production with unconscious biases in place…And even if the creator in question is not all three (straight, white, male), the media landscape has been dominated by those elements for such a long time that this perspective is the default, and its point of view may not be challenged. Thus: the male gaze.”

Speaking in Accents & the American Ethnocentrism in Video Games

“Voice acting has become a staple in gaming that helps flesh out characters and setting…The cultural politics that voice acting implies, however, often escape analysis. The default English accent is General American and deviations from this tap into a subtext that assumes an American player. How accents communicate information to the player exposes the subliminal effects of American ethnocentrism.” Mattie Brice, Pop Matters

Corporate Vandals

“Inspired by observing the ongoing battle between corporations & street culture, Corporate Vandals pits corporate vandals and the city against indies and their activist allies. Corporate Vandals is a fast paced sticker turf warfare game using physical stickers on boards to spread your brand across the city of East Fulton (aka Beatdown City).” About Corporate Vandals, IndieCade

Gaming Out Online

“…this article seeks to explore lesbians of color and their experiences “gayming” out and online. Exploring identity development, community building, and connectivity via social networking, the women within this study articulate what it means to be lesbian online and how this impacts their physical and digital experiences.” – Kishonna L. Gray, “Gaming Out Online.”

From New Bordeaux to Harlem

“This might sound blasphemous, but the women in Mafia III and Luke Cage fascinate me most. These women are simultaneously complex and maddeningly shallow. I say this to mean there is centuries of tears, laughter, abuse, and love tied up in each and every one of them, but at the same time all of this history and all of these emotions all seem to (by design) fall in service to the narratives’ main male protagonists. ” – Samantha Blackmon, Not Your Mama’s Gamer

At Play in the Carceral State

“There are over two million prisoners in America—men, women, and children who are confined to prisons, jails, or detention facilities. And despite the fact that they cannot walk to a GameStop or load up Steam, many of them play games. This week, Waypoint is devoting a substantial portion of our publishing schedule to exploring this part of games culture. We’re calling it At Play in the Carceral State.” – Austin Walker, Waypoint

Cuphead & the Racist Spectre of Fleischer Animation

“The artists at Studio MDHR, the Canadian company which developed [Cuphead], have done an impressive job recreating the dynamic rubber-hose character animation that producers like the Fleischers and Walt Disney made famous in the 1930s. By setting their game in this aesthetic, however, Studio MDHR also dredge up the bigotry and prejudice which had a strong influence on early animation.” – Yussef Cole, Unwinnable

How Videogames Demonize Fat People

“When I encounter the fat body in a video game, the disappointment that follows is so hot and pure that there is, as a matter of self-care, an urgent need to remove myself from the moment and get on a plane. I refuse to accept that in the world of prestige video games — AAA in industry speak — a body like mine and those of the people I love and admire, can only exist in one of two ways: a cheap laugh or a site of disgust, usually both.” – Anshuman Iddamsetty, The Outline