Discussion: Politics and Cultures of Gaming. Since the sheltering-in due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports from the United States show a significant increase in the number of people subscribing to different online games and streaming services. Accounting for infrastructures and internet availability, such a pattern could likely also be noticed in different parts of the world. The objective of this prompt is to allow us to focus on the politics and culture of games and gaming. For many of us who are not into gaming, this may seem like a far-out topic. And it is worth noting that even for gamers these aspects are likely not at the forefront of their interest or motivation while gaming. But it is worthwhile for us to take note of the phenomenon of the gaming industry in our times. In responding to this prompt, you can either focus on one of the two levels: a) context of cultures and politics within the gaming industry itself such as the evolution of technology, nature of employment and work, different genres, the implication of practices like live series, payment systems, microtransactions, etc. or, b) take instances of specific games which involves the representation of particular peoples, identities, and the prevalence of racial slurs and stereotyping in particular genres. You can draw from your own experiences if you are a gamer, and similarly, if you are not you can draw from your observations and reflect upon what informs your non-engagement. As always these prompts are meant to help us to examine a subject in the world we inhabit, to engage collegially in an informed manner, and most importantly to collectively formulate crucial questions regarding things that are in the process of taking shape around us.
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