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Spelunking 2020: Games, Cultures, Societies

A BSA Postgraduate Forum Webinar

22 July 2020 (9am-6pm)


About the Event

In her recent monograph Playing with Feelings (2018), Aubrey Anable contends that games researchers should become lost and disorientated in games in order to reach deeper critical insights, an action which she refers to as spelunking.

Gaming is a diverse term used to encapsulate a variety of experiences: analog or digital; singular or multiplayer; simple or complex; equitable or contentious; long or short; professional or amateur; all consuming or just engaged with in short bursts. In the context of this symposium we engage with the term ‘gaming’ at its broadest experiential understanding.

Pockets of sociological enquiry have interacted with games including Gary Alan Fine’s seminal work on frame analysis in Shared Fantasy (1983). More recently, Garry Crawford’s (2012) work on gamer identities, or Daniel Muriel and Crawford’s recent volume Video Games as Culture (2018) have demonstrated the need for further considered sociological analysis on gaming and gaming culture. As such, it becomes apparent that there is an urgent need to address this vibrant yet underdeveloped area of research. Especially when considering that by 2020, according to a report published by UKIE (2018, 33), that the ‘total UK games revenue is expected to overtake total spending on books.’

This event is supported by the British Sociological Association’s Postgraduate Forum Regional Day Event Fund with assistance from DaCNet.