Global gaming networks are heterogenous collectives of localized practices, not unified commercial products. Shifting the analysis of digital games to local specificities that build and perform the global and general, Gaming Rhythms employs ethnographic work conducted in Venezuela and Australia to account for the material experiences of actual game players.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Rejected: Again

Here is an abstract that I sent to Dr Nathaniel Garrelts for his forthcoming edited collection of GTA:

Of Sins, Vices and Pecados: The Cultural Context of Videogame Play

Using a case study of Grand Theft Auto 3: Vice City this paper will examine the cultural context of videogame consumption in Caracas, Venezuela in Summer 2005. Using data gathered through ethnographic fieldwork, participant observation and interviews over that period, this paper will examine the features of Vice City that made it the most often played single player game in Internet cafes. I will argue that in this case rather than any graphic or narrative elements that the game contained, it is the flexibility in terms of styles and approaches to play the game allowed that led to the game becoming a standard feature within Venezuelan gaming life. I will maintain that his is because it both catered to the requirements of the intense social space of the offline interactions within the Internet café, and superseded the limitations and difficulties imposed by the various social, economic and technological factors facing the game playing audience in Venezuela.

It was promptly (and politely) declined, as the editor wished to focus on "
essays that specifically addressed a Grand Theft Auto game from a defined theoretical perspective". I'm pretty sure he got about 1000 abstracts considering just about every paper at the PCA/ACA conference was on GTA. In fact theres a big scandal about the 'Hot Coffee' scences in Australia at the moment, thats got a special panel devouted to it at the IE in Sydney this weekend (that I couldn't go to - because no $$$). In fact I'm starting to the GTA can stand in for computer games as a whole... Grand Theft Auto Studies, sounds cool? I mean it's not like it's a lame game, but I'm kinda over it... ...I guess every academic is just studying what the kids are playing (it means they can watch them over their shoulder rather than playing them, themselves!!), and games like Grim Fandango are irrelevant and researching them could not possibly reveal anything about computer games.

Anyway I'm happy because it means I don't have to write it right now, although I'm working on something to do with GTA because I just got so much data about it on my fieldwork in Venezuela.

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About Me

This blog started as a PhD blog, for my project 'Global Rhythms: Video games and the Transformation of Play'. It finally become a book. This is a "historic" record of the trials a tribulations.