Theory

Tanner Higgin's picture

What Trolls Can Teach Us About Race

I’ve got a new article out in Fibreculture that I’m proud of and think readers of this blog would enjoy. It’s called “/b/lackup: What Trolls Can Teach Us About Race” and it’s an adaptation of some research and writing I did for my dissertation. This is an article years — I think about four total — in the making. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

The Killer of Sheep of Videogames

[NOTE: A version of this work was presented at the 2013 Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference. Here is a PDF of the slide deck.]

Measured Representation ... read more »

Thoughts on teaching theory to undergrads

Recently, my friend Annie Petersen took advantage of one of Twitter’s best functions for academics: crowdsourcing syllabus recommendations. Annie was looking for readings that provide a good introduction to semiotics, but are not impenetrable to novice students. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Fallout 3′s Curious System of Race

Fall In

Non-fantasy roleplaying games don’t often allow the player to choose a race.  However, Fallout 3, Bethesda’s open world roleplaying game set in post-apocalyptic Washington DC, allows players to select from four races: African American, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic, with Caucasian—unfortunately but not unsurprisingly—the default choice. ... read more »

Nick_Mirzoeff's picture

Occupy Theory

“Mic check!”

General assembly, sparkly hands, consensus, concern, temperature check, block, process: this is the vocabulary and embodied performance of occupy theory. Each word has an equivalent embodied gesture, which is the means of indicating how you’re feeling about a proposal: fingers up for feeling good, horizontal for not sure, down for against.

... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

The Trap of Representation

Header image from Robbie Cooper’s Alter Ego.

When we evaluate race in games, character creation seems to draw most of our focus. And there’s good reason for this: character creation appears to facilitate the kind of bodily manipulation promised by digital technologies during the mythic imaginings of the early internet. In some way we’ve been desiring a tool for identity play that lives up to the promise of these 90s promises. ... read more »

Nick_Mirzoeff's picture

Going Meta, or, “Slow” Thinking.

I have been wanting to write about the writing of this blog for some time but the pace of events since January has been so breathtaking, and so relevant to the themes of my book, that it has not seemed possible to take a break. In the past week, the crisis seems to have itself taken a metaphysical turn. ... read more »

Tanner Higgin's picture

Spatialized Difference in Videogames

Maps, Levels, and the Orchestration of Conflict

The notion that maps, and the cartographic processes behind those maps, are functions of power, most commonly imperial power, is a fundamental assumption of critical geography. As the diagrammatic products of territorial struggles between political forces, maps are both representations of the world and constructions of that world. They are ideological imprints that actively shape the relations they purport to scientifically reflect. ... read more »

Nick_Mirzoeff's picture

Time and the photographic common

Time regained

History repeats itself…(Marx)

The French Revolution was a leap into the open air of history (Benjamin)

Nick_Mirzoeff's picture

The Revolution is Watching

The revolution is watching. That is to say, the revolution is watching us and we are watching the revolution. It is also to say that there has been a certain revolution in watching, although the casual use of “revolution” in such contexts is less convincing now. Nonetheless, despite all injunctions to the contrary, to watch is a form of action. ... read more »