For an experience to be memorable let alone transformative, the human brain has to be pushed out of default auto-pilot mode into conscious thought. And that push necessarily involves some level of discomfort.
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I’m a professor here in comparative media studies and I’m codirector of an organization called AnyKey which I’ll tell you a little bit about today. We launched 2016 with the help of Intel and ESL. We’re an organization dedicated to fairness, equity, and inclusivity in gaming and in particular esports.
The unrelenting pace of technologies is deeply ironic, given the original intent of them to make our lives more efficient and give us more time. But we can all attest that the actual effect of this escalation of efficiency has been to increase the pace of work and play in our worlds.
How do we make gay worlds in video games? Well, I can tell you how not to make a gay world. You should not rely on the AAA game industry to pity you and leave you some table scraps. I’m tired of being 0.1% of a world, right. Why isn’t Dragon Age 100% gay sex, right?
In an environment where everybody can pick up everybody’s tools, we’re all weirdly empowered now. And I mean kind of weird in an almost fey sense like, our powers are weird, they make us weird, and they make our our conflicts weird. It’s again that idea that our tools are interacting with our human flaws in really really interesting ways.
What does it mean to be antidisciplinary? To me, it means struggle. Sometimes, working in interdisciplinary fields, I felt like I’ve maybe tried really hard working and working and working on a project, and I wasn’t seeing any difference. Sometimes people would look at me and be like, “What are you even doing?” So, to me antidisciplinarity means not only not working in one specific field, but rather instead drawing from elsewhere to imagine something new.
I think the part that engages students that are from underrepresented ethnic groups is missing. I think they don’t see themselves reflected, don’t see their interests or their cultures reflected, so they stay outside of it even if it’s free, or even if it’s something that is in their neighborhood.
Simply put, anonymity does not cause harassment. It does play a role, but it’s much much more complicated than most people have made it out to be. The reason that this is important to understand is because it’s having a practical impact on the world right now.
I’m here at MITH today, and I wanted to talk a little bit about digital humanities from my position as an interested outsider. I’ve always kept a finger in academia, at first through game studies and people studying video games, and more recently through electronic literature and those fields. I’m not going to go into a “what is it?” debate because I know everyone who’s in digital humanities is very tired of those, but we know when we see it, right?