95 episodes

Welcome to Keywords in Play, a joint collaborative podcast between Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association! In this series, we deliver interviews with writers, thinkers, makers, and critics working with games in an approachable and conversational format, suitable for fans, players, and critical thinkers alike.

Critical Distance: Keywords in Play criticaldistance

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

Welcome to Keywords in Play, a joint collaborative podcast between Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association! In this series, we deliver interviews with writers, thinkers, makers, and critics working with games in an approachable and conversational format, suitable for fans, players, and critical thinkers alike.

    Episode 13 - Alenda Y. Chang

    Episode 13 - Alenda Y. Chang

    This episode we speak with Alenda Y. Chang about games, ecology, literature, and environmental relations. Alenda is an Associate Professor in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara. With a multidisciplinary background in biology, literature, and film, she specializes in merging ecocritical theory with the analysis of contemporary media. Her writing has been featured in Ant Spider Bee, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Qui Parle, the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, and Ecozon@, and her first book Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games (University of Minnesota Press, December 2019), develops ecological frameworks for understanding and designing digital games.


     


    “Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.


    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/


     


    Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance


    Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.


    Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart


    Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

    • 29 min
    Keywords in Play Episode 12 - Aaron Trammell

    Keywords in Play Episode 12 - Aaron Trammell

    This episode we talk with Aaron Trammell about challenging canonical thinkers, race, torture and TTRPGs, with special reference to his open-access piece "Torture, Play and the Black Experience" https://www.gamejournal.it/torture-play/. Aaron is Assistant Professor of Informatics and Core Faculty in Visual Studies at UC Irvine. He writes about how Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and board games inform the lived experiences of their players. Specifically, he is interested in how these games further values of white privilege and hegemonic masculinity in geek culture. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Analog Game Studies and the Multimedia editor of Sounding Out! You can get in touch at trammell [at] uci [dot] edu


    “Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.


    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/


     


    Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance


    Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.


    Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart


    Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

    • 35 min
    Keywords in Play Episode 11 - Victor Navarro-Remesal and Thiago Falcão

    Keywords in Play Episode 11 - Victor Navarro-Remesal and Thiago Falcão

    Víctor Navarro-Remesal is a media scholar specialized in games. He teaches History of Videogames and Interactive Narrative at Tecnocampus, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Game Design at UOC. He’s the author of ‘Libertad dirigida: Una gramática del análisis y diseño de videojuegos’ (Shangrila, 2016) and ‘Cine Ludens: 50 diálogos entre el juego y el cine’ (Editorial UOC, 2019), as well as the editor of ‘Pensar el juego. 25 caminos para los game studies’ (Shangrila, 2020). His research interests are player freedom, Zen-inspired games, gêmu, and game preservation. He is one of the founding members of DIGRA Spain.


     


    https://medium.com/game-studies-espa%C3%B1a/monogr%C3%A1ficos-dedicados-al-videojuego-en-revistas-acad%C3%A9micas-59e08566a8bd


    “Ludonarrativas: La complejidad narrativa en los videojuegos” http://www.revistaatalante.com/index.php?journal=atalante&page=issue&op=current


    Pensar el juego: 25 caminos para los game studies https://shangrilaediciones.com/producto/pensar-el-juego/


     


    Thiago Falcão is Professor of Digital Media Communication Course and Professor of the Graduate Program in Communication at the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB). He holds a PhD in Communication and Contemporary Culture from the Federal University of Bahia and was a PDSE/Capes fellow at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has a Post-Doctorate in Audiovisual Communication from Anhembi Morumbi University in São Paulo/SP. Thiago currently researches themes regarding politics and entertainment, with special attention to the ties between the Brazilian esports scene and cultural dynamics associated to neoliberalism / late capitalism. 


     


    Link for the Special Issue CFP "The Colonization of Play by Neoliberal Capitalism": https://periodicos.uff.br/contracampo/announcement/view/491


    Rede Metagame: Brazilian Research network on Games and Political Culture: twitter.com/redemetagame


     


    “Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.


    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

    • 34 min
    Keywords in Play Episode 10 - Thi Nguyen

    Keywords in Play Episode 10 - Thi Nguyen

    C. Thi Nguyen is a former food writer, now a philosophy professor at University of Utah. He writes about trust, art, games, and communities, and is interested in the ways that our social structures and technologies shape how we think and what we value.


    His first book is Games: Agency as Art. It’s about how games are the art form that work in the medium of agency. A game designer doesn’t just create a world – they create who we are in that world. Games shape temporary agencies for artistic purposes. And games turn out to be our way of writing down and communicating modes of agency; by playing them, we can try out different forms of agency.  (Here’s a summary of the book and Thi's website is https://objectionable.net/.)


    “Keywords in Play” is a monthly interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.


    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture. For more on games writing and culture please visit https://www.critical-distance.com/

    • 27 min
    Keywords in Play Episode 9: Sonia Fizek

    Keywords in Play Episode 9: Sonia Fizek

    This episode's guest is Sonia Fizek, to discuss a forthcoming book on 'delegated' and 'interpassive' play. Sonia is a digital wanderer and a ludic thinker. On a more formal note, a professor at Cologne Game Lab in media and game studies and a co-editor in chief of the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds. Previously a lecturer at Abertay University, a postdoctoral researcher at the Cent­re for Di­gi­tal Cul­tu­res at Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­ty Lüne­burg and a guest lecturer at: Leuphana University Lüne­burg, Goethe University Frankfurt, Hamburg Media School, and Design School Berlin.


    “Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.


    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture.


     

    • 20 min
    Keywords in Play Episode 8 - Lindsay Grace

    Keywords in Play Episode 8 - Lindsay Grace

    This episode we speak with Lindsay Grace about love and affection in games. Lindsay is Knight Chair in Interactive Media and an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Communication. He is Vice President for the Higher Education Video Game Alliance and the 2019 recipient of the Games for Change Vanguard award. Lindsay's book, Doing Things with Games, Social Impact through Design, is a well-received guide to game design. In 2020, he edited and authored Love and Electronic Affection: a Design Primer on designing love and affection in games.


    “Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association. As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.


    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Paperclypse ,

I've really enjoyed the interviews

Some great interviews with games critics and creators!

johnwvail ,

Compelling and Insightful Conversations

I recently discovered this podcast and found the recent interviews with online video creators to be very facinating -- especially given that the guests haven't done many other interviews. They talk about their processes, inspiration, and their craft generally which was really cool to hear. Host Eric Swain is personable and asks genuinely interesting questions.

If you're interested in games criticism, this is a must listen~

Greyjoyiiiii ,

Is good

Plz more

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