Video games: Ethical spaces under the regime of images
Ilya Brookwell, University of Toronto , Canada
University of Toronto . Awarded
The video game is a deeply misunderstood medium, one that is often blamed as a root cause of violence, anti-social behaviour and the laziness of youth. In addition to those who judge video games as corrupting, there are those who note the complexity and instructive power of video games and hope to harness the technology for educational use. This thesis occupies a middle ground between these two poles. I set out to interrogate the potential of video games and to explore the troubling aspects of some contemporary commercial examples. I submit this work as a theoretical investigation of video games and “learning”. I argue that as a distinct textual form, video games are prime sites for encountering power and difference, as well as productive sites through which gamers come to know themselves. Video games are semiotic playing fields that, when theorized as such, call for pedagogical interventions focused on how we produce identities and teach about the worlds we inhabit both virtual and actual. I end with an explanation of how video games can constructively be theorized as “ethical spaces” for learning about issues of social justice.
Brookwell, I. Video games: Ethical spaces under the regime of images. Master's thesis, University of Toronto.
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