Thursday, May 14, 2009

latest post on CTHEORY

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RT 004 05/13/2009 Editors: Arthur and Marilouise Kroker

Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter:

Empire@Play: Virtual Games and Global Capitalism

"Amidst the current convulsions, global capitalism has one consolation
left for its increasingly desperate subjects: you may have lost your
job (or will never be able to retire from it), you can't afford to go
out, but you can always stay home (if you still have one) and play a
video game. As Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns and Merrill Lynch fell
and General Motors, Ford and Chrysler reeled round the edge of their
grave, North American sales of game hardware and software hit
all-time highs in 2008. Forecasters claimed virtual play was
recession-proof; a maturing audience of stay-at-home gamers would
cocoon around the Wii, Xbox360 or PS3, or migrate to ~World of
Warcraft~ or ~Second Life~, to enjoy a diversion from economic
disaster. Such estimates of game-business resilience may prove
optimistic: by 2009 job losses were hitting industry behemoths such
as Sony and Electronic Arts (EA). But this latest iteration of
bread-and-circuses culture-theory nevertheless provides a timely
entry for a discussion of digital games as exemplary media of
contemporary Empire."

warm recommendation

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