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[Xmca-l] Re: [commtalk] Media Fields CFP: Playgrounds

This post about play and playgrounds and digital stuff might contribute to
play conversation.

On Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 9:42 PM, Chuk Moran <cwmoran@ucsd.edu> wrote:

> Hi all, MFJ likes experimental stuff even if still in development.
> Their new CFP invites work on play & games
> Submission Guidelines
> *Media Fields Journal: Critical Explorations in Media and Space*
> *Issue 8: Playgrounds*
> *Submission Deadline: Dec. 1, 2013*
> This issue of *Media Fields* investigates the connections between media,
> space, power, and various approaches to “play” across culture and society.
> In this issue we seek conversations that embrace play in all its polysemy.
> We invite papers that investigate how mediated play spaces can become
> spaces to negotiate labor, power, resistance, agency, or subjectivity. To
> that end, what is a mediated play space? What is the history of mediated
> play spaces? How are non-play spaces subverted to become play spaces, and
> what are the political consequences of this subversion? Moreover, what is
> the political potential of play?
> In video game studies, play is often discussed as a free activity that
> nonetheless is governed by structures, rules, and protocol; and driven by
> clear goals or win states. This understanding is largely built upon the
> theoretical work of Johan Huizinga and Roger Caillois. Although play can
> often be seen as non-political, frivolous, and anathema to the serious
> concerns of society and culture, play in fact constitutes - and itself
> mediates - our everyday lives, (re)shaping our material world and producing
> new fields of meaning and action. In Roland Barthes’s discussion of the
> term, play designates a capacity for variation and change: *to have play*.
> Alternatively, play enables, or is activated by, expressions of
> individuality and agency: *to play*. In the first sense play is expressed
> as capacity; in the second sense play is agential, a co-active engagement
> of player, interface, and environment. However, software studies has
> cautioned that spaces of play, in all of their manifestations, are also
> bounded spaces, geographically, algorithmically, and ideologically. Indeed,
> Alexander Galloway has explored both the ideological power of interfaces
> and code as well as the agentive potential to resist or subvert these
> forces through various forms of play. We purposefully invite a range of
> submissions that continue to map these relationships between bounded
> structure and playful expression, especially within, but by no means
> limited to, virtual worlds and digital games.
> We are inspired by the work of those media scholars who have explored some
> of these issues already. Henry Jenkins’ influential article, “‘Complete
> Freedom of Movement’: Video Games as Gendered Play Spaces,” provides an
> early and enduring example of an approach to the problem of media, space,
> and play through a gendered perspective. Likewise, Bernadette Flynn’s
> essay, “Geography of the Digital Hearth,” explores the migrating play space
> of the video game experience from the arcade, to the den, to its central
> place in the living room, offering not only a genealogy of video game play
> space but also a significant contribution to the continuing study of
> changing living room dynamics explored by Lynn Spigel, Cecila Tichi, and
> more recently Michael Z. Newman and Elana Levine. Finally, although digital
> games lend themselves to the study of mediated play spaces, we are also
> seek scholarship interested in the ways other media, including film,
> television, radio, and digital culture, construct and are constructed as
> fields of play.
> Thus, our approach is multivalent. We invite a wide range of submissions
> that consider this complexity, possibly addressing the following topics:
> ■                    Military Play Space: How is play deployed to
> reproduce or aestheticize positions of power and Empire? How can play
> subvert and reconstruct these spaces? These questions may extend the work
> of Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter into digital and cultural
> geography.
> ■                    Sport, Space, and Experiences: How can we understand
> the experience of viewing sporting events in relation to mediated play
> spaces, either in the living room, at the sports bar, or even at the live
> event itself? How does play - L.A.R.P., Parkour, or skateboarding, for
> example - reclaim space and reimagine space?
> ■                    The Domestic Space and Video Games: Following work
> by Bernadette Flynn and Ben Aslinger, how do digital games and other
> entertainment technologies augment the spatial, social, and family dynamics
> of the contemporary domestic space? How does play reshape the domestic
> space?
> ■                    Gender, Sexuality, Race, Class, Identity, and Online
> Spaces: How do people play with identity and power in virtual spaces? How
> can virtual space be used tactically to oppose oppressive powers?
> ■                    Queer/Feminist Gaming: representations of gendered
> and sexualized spaces in mainstream video games, gendered/queer geographies
> of video game production, gendered/queer spaces of gaming culture?
> ■                    Spaces of Surveillance: How can play be mobilized as
> a form of resistance to spaces of surveillance? Work here might follow in
> the vein of projects from the Critical Art Ensemble.
> ■                    Play and Labor; Play and Anonymity; Play and
> Resistance; Counter-Play
> We are looking for essays of 1500-2500 words, digital art projects, and
> audio or video interviews exploring the relationship between media, space,
> power, and play. We encourage approaches to this topic from scholars in
> cinema and media studies, anthropology, architecture, art and art history,
> communication, ecology, geography, literature, musicology, sociology, and
> other relevant fields.
> Email submissions to Alex Chaplin and John Vanderhoef at
> submissions@mediafieldsjournal.org
> <submissions@mediafieldsjournal.org>
Status: O