Imperial Play

Rachel van der Merwe*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


In this article, I propose the theory of imperial play as a tool with which scholars can expose ideologies embedded into video games and video game culture and industry. While representation-oriented theories and methodologies help scholars think about the visual and narrative components of a game, analysis of representation fails scholars when we examine video games as simulations. With imperial play, I reimagine Laura Mulvey's male gaze through the lens of post-colonial theory and through Ian Bogost's concept of procedural rhetoric. While I acknowledge two key participants in the practice of imperial play, the game developer and game player, within this article, I demonstrate the framework by focusing on the experience of the player. Using examples from popular console and PC video games, I analyze embedded colonial attitudes within game missions, within the nature of the avatar, within the construction of the gamescape, and in regard to non-playable characters (NPCs).
Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftCommunication, Culture & Critique
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2020
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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