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Title: Performing play in digital games : mapping feminist futures
Author: Westecott, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 6057 3433
Awarding Body: University of South Wales
Current Institution: University of South Wales
Date of Award: 2015
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Whether judged from an economic, social or cultural perspective videogames are one of the most successful experiential forms in the contemporary technological landscape, yet it remains remarkably difficult to find widespread visible engagement by women and girls as either players or makers. This thesis adopts a cross-disciplinary approach that explores three intersecting themes: performance theory, feminism and game studies. The goal is to build trajectories of interest across theory to interdisciplinary ends. An ongoing connection to theatrical form - in this case performance - is productive for building models and frameworks useful to the study of videogames as an expressive form. The intent is to sketch a foundation from which to approach games from a historically connected critical tradition. Approaching gameplay as performance opens up a rich seam of theoretical and practical approaches to unpack the potential of gameplay to expand as a site of meaning. By engaging performance analysis driven by a feminist intent this thesis subjects games to a broad spectrum of analytical techniques to sketch out possible future directions. This pivots on the argument that gameplay is a multidimensional phenomenon that is wholly dependent on the situated context of the player. As a feminist project the discussion moves to the socio-political contexts of existing playing and making practices. This makes visible opportunities to playfully imagine a future open to experimentation. This moves from a discussion of playing games to one of making games to identify ways that games could open up to new makers, moving the discussion from representational practices to cultural critique, a transition necessary for an activist project. This thesis draws together models, frameworks and practices arising from this cross-disciplinary interest for use in future game making and playing thereby looking back in order to move forward towards a more diverse game culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available