While many books and articles are emerging on the new area of game studies and the application of computer games to learning, therapeutic, military, and entertainment environments, few have attempted to contextualize the importance of virtual play within a broader social, cultural, and political environment that raises the question of the significance of work, play, power, and inequalities in the modern world. Studies tend to concentrate on the content of virtual games, but few have questioned how power is produced or reproduced by publishers, gamers, or even social media; how social exclusion (based on race, class, or gender) in the virtual environment is reproduced from the real world; and how actors are able to use new media to transcend their fears, anxieties, prejudices, and assumptions. The articles presented by the contributors in this volume represent cutting-edge research in the area of critical game play with the hope of drawing attention to the need for more studies that are both sociological and critical.
David Embrick is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Loyola University, Chicago. J. Talmadge Wright is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Loyola University, Chicago. Andras Lukacs is a PhD candidate at Loyola University, Chicago.
Part I. Introduction Chapter 1: Introduction to Social Exclusion, Power and Video Game Play David G. Embrick, J. Talmadge Wright and Andras Lukacs Part II. Social-Psychological Implications of Virtual Play Chapter 2: Marking the Territory: Grand Theft Auto IV as a Playground for Masculinities Elena Bertozzi Chapter 3: Discursive Engagements in World of Warcraft: A Semiotic Analysis of Player Relationships Elizabeth ErkenBrack Chapter 4: The Intermediate Ego - The Location of the Mind at Play Vanessa Long Chapter 5: Producing the Social in Virtual Realms J. Talmadge Wright Part III. Social Inequalities in Video Game Spaces: Race, Gender, and Virtual Play Chapter 6: Racism in Gaming: Connecting Extremist and Mainstream Expressions of White Supremacy Jessie Daniels and Nick LaLone Chapter 7: Worlds of Whiteness: Race and Character Creation in Online Games David Dietrich Chapter 8: Gendered Pleasures: The Wii, Embodiment and Technological Desire Adrienne Massanari Chapter 9: Sincere Fictions of Whiteness in Virtual Worlds: How Fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online Games Perpetuate Colorblind, White Supremacist Ideology Joel Ritsema and Bhoomi Thakore Chapter 10: The Goddess Paradox: Hyper-resonance Shaping Gender Experiences in MMORPGs Zek Cypress Valkyrie Part IV. Game Fans Speak Out Chapter 11: To Play is to Design: An Analysis of Player/Designer Interactions in World of Warcraft Sean C. Duncan Chapter 12: Western Otaku: Games Crossing Cultures Mia Consalvo Chapter 13: Beyond the Virtual Realm: Fallout fans, Producers, and the Troublesome Issue of Ownership in Videogame Fandom R.M. Milner Part V. Summary and Conclusions Chapter 14: Conclusion Andras Lukacs, David G. Embrick, and J. Talmadge Wright