Is there a Hollywood of Videogames?

In Western game studies, we are seeing an emergence of a “canon”, games which scholars consider to to be essential playing for understanding the medium. But is this really the case, and are these games worthy of canon? Sure, people will always write about the latest games to keep up with the trend but in academia, are seeing a prominence of certain games written and presented on in the last few years. Social games (World of Warcraft, Second Life…) and e-sports games (Starcraft, League of Legends) aside, it is often Western RPGs which become objects of close reading.  Popular series’ such as Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed along with Bioware and Bethesda’s newer games are mainstays of the field, but why?

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I’ve started streaming on Twitch!

Twitch.tv is not only a popular site for the e-sports scene, but gaming communities in general. I have decided it will be useful (and fun!) to start streaming from my own Twitch channel to not only better understand the inner workings of the site, but also to place emphasis on gameplay itself in my work. Let’s be honest, I play games hours a day anyways, so I may as well stream it and talk to a screen in the process.

I hope to stream most weekday nights around 8:00pm. Games will include with single and multilayer games of varying genres and commentary provided will be of varying academic (or non-academic) nature.

You can find and subscribe to my channel at: http://www.twitch.tv/invag

South Korea Series: K-pop sells, but who’s buying?

The fascination for Korean pop culture has spread across the world, currently being dubbed, the hallyu wave. Being an avid listener of Korean pop music (K-pop), watcher of Korean soap operas (K-dramas) and films, I was on the lookout for all things hallyu during my trip, but ended up leaving quite disappointed. Korean media is less about the content it produces and more about selling a very particular look, seemingly attainable through participation in Korean consumer culture.

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South Korea Series: I attended a live Starcraft 2 match

During the next few weeks I will be writing special posts on my two week trip to South Korea. It was not only an amazing experience, but also invaluable for my research in e-sports, East Asian culture and education.

I have been following several professional Starcraft circuits ever since the height of the Brood War expansion craze as a player and an organizer. I have also started a local University club, managed my own team and volunteered for two prominent e-sports organizations: The Collegiate Star League and E-sports Canada. Professional gaming in South Korea is huge, so much so, they have their own television channel dedicated to broadcasting games and other gaming related shows.

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Response: Revisiting Disney World and the #foodselfie

via Response: Revisiting Disney World and the #foodselfie.

Two years ago, I went on a trip to Disney World with my partner during Reading Week. The trip would be my 5th time to “the World” but my first time going without the family, including my mom who is obsessed with taking the same pictures, by the same landmarks every time we go. Having to stop what we were doing, put on our “family fun” faces and inevitably get in the way of all the other guests in the park was frustrating and uncomfortable, especially in the 90F Florida weather. This was the first time I was in control of the memories and with a camera phone in tow, I made sure all the photos were taken quickly, without impeding on the space of other people, but also of new experiences in the parks. I decided then, that I wanted to revise my memories through tourist photos of the food we ate during our trip. Continue reading

PCA 2015 in New Orleans

I am currently preparing for PCA 2015 in New Orleans and I hope to share my field notes from a variety of pop culture related presentations!

I also hope to meet lots of new scholars so please, if you stumble upon my site, please feel free to connect me with me after the conference.

The #selfie in South Korea

Response: Smith and Watson and #selfie in South Korea.

via Response: Smith and Watson and #selfie in South Korea.

Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson’s characteristics of the “autobiographical subject” can be applied to the use of selfies in photo sharing apps such as Instagram to construct a narrative bound in cultural beauty standards. Recent news has stated that 70.14% or 35,000,000 people of the South Korean population owns a smartphone. Continue reading