This series discusses the ‘gamblification’ of games, the ‘gamification’ of gambling, and the porous boundary that ostensibly delimits these domains of play. We consider epistemological and methodological challenges in the study of contemporary, digital play, as well as the dynamics of emergent platforms of play (e.g., the ‘free-to-play’ business model). We engage with a variety of games (e.g. Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, Vegas Blackjack) and platforms (e.g. espacejeux.com, Steam). Our aim is to collectively experience and theorize the pull of these casual games and game platforms and in this way attend to the glorious and mundane pleasures of consuming games.
PLEASURE CONSUMING GAMES I
“Pleasure Consuming Games”–a workshop to explore the pleasures of contemporary, digital games alongside their pleasure-consuming potentialities and propensities.
September 22, 2017
- Bart Simon (Sociology & Anthropology, Concordia University)
- Laureline Chiapello (Aménagement, Université de Montréal)
- Mia Consalvo (Communication Studies, Concordia University)
- David Nieborg (Arts, Culture and Media, University of Toronto)
September 23, 2017
- Andrei Zanescu and colleagues–Dota 2: The Most Played Game on Steam
- The Dota 2 workshop was separated in two parts overall: theory and demonstration. The theory portion consisted of a presentation about the production context, game design and technological affordances of Dota 2. The demonstration consisted of an exhibition match of Dota 2, with commentary and the option to wager. The purpose of the workshop was to foster discussion and critique regarding the manner in which Dota 2 promotes gambling, both as practice and as a conceptual apparatus.
- Workshop 1: Candy Crush & Clash of Clans–Playing With ‘Free-to-Play’ Games
- Workshop 2: Video Slots–Playing slots on Espacejeux.com
PLEASURE CONSUMING GAMES II
Pleasure Consuming Games Pop-Up Event
The second event in the Pleasure Consuming Games series was a pop-up event at North Star Pinball Bar on July 9, 2018. Continuing our exploration of the “gamblification” of games and the “gamification” of gambling, we assembled an exciting panel of speakers who discussed the changing dynamics of contemporary video games and online gambling. Speakers discussed the intersections between gaming and gambling in the context of mobile social games (e.g. Candy Crush), massively-multiplayer online battle arena games (e.g. DOTA 2), Esports, daily fantasy sports, online poker, and so on. A key focal point of the discussion included the incorporation of ‘loot-boxes’ in gaming. A speaker panel (Chanel J. Larche, U of Waterloo; Andrei Zanescu, Concordia University; Dr. Mark R. Johnson, U of Alberta; Dr. Tom Brock, Manchester Metropolitan;) from 1-4pm was followed by an analog gaming “5 à 7” complete with old school pinball games!
PLEASURE CONSUMING GAMES III
On April 26, 2019, we were thrilled to host Dr. Kishonna Gray (University of Illinois – Chicago) who gave a keynote address on her research on the intersecting oppressions that manifest in games, gaming environments, and on platforms, and also on how Black Gamers and Women Gamers have organized to resist and respond to these situations.
Following this was a panel discussion on the challenges and pleasures of streaming, with streamers Tanya DePass (ineeddiversegames.org), Will Wiggins (https://allmylinks.com/blackoni), and Brian Gray (urbanbohemian.com).
This event was streamed LIVE on Twitch for those who were unable to be with us in Montreal:
PLEASURE CONSUMING GAMES IV x HERMES TEAM SYMPOSIUM
COMMODIFICATION OF LEISURE IN THE DIGITAL ERA (VIRTUAL EDITION, POSTPONED TO 2021)
How have gam(bl)ing experiences been shaped by new and hyper-connected technological environments? How have they been rendered indistinguishable?
This Interactive Symposium, organized by the HERMES research team, provided a space to share knowledge, learn about, and discuss issues around digital gam(bl)ing and the commodification of leisure in the digital age.
The programme included:
- interactive sessions with internationally renowned guest speakers;
- presentation and exchange sessions with a new generation of students;
- workshops that promoted experimentation and exchange.
The closing session was a presentation by Mr. Edward Snowden followed by a Q&A session!
More details available here.