Western digital game play has shifted in important ways over the last decade, with a plethora of personal devices affording a range of increasingly diverse play experiences. Despite the celebration of a more inclusive environment of digital game play, very little grounded research has been devoted to the examination of familial play and the domestication of digital games, as opposed to evolving public and educational contexts. This book is the first study to provide a situated investigation of the site of family play— the shared spaces and private places of gameplay within the domestic sphere. It carries out an empirically grounded and critical analysis of what marketing and sales discourses about shifts in the digital games audience actually look like in the space of the home, as well as the social and cultural role these ludic technologies take in the everyday practices of the family in the domestic context. It examines the material realities of video game technologies in the home; including time management and spatial organization, as well as the discursive role these devices play in discussions of technological competence and its complex relationship to age, generational differences, and gender performance. Harvey’s interdisciplinary approach and innovative methodology will hold great critical appeal for those studying digital culture, children’s media, and feminist studies of new media, as well as critical theories of technology and leisure and sport theory.
Table of Contents
1. Introducing Domestic Play 2. Girls, Boys, Gender, and Games 3. Adopting Digital Games 4. Regulating Digital Play 5. Regulating Technological Subjects 6. The Politics of Play At Home
Alison Harvey is a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Her research focuses on issues of inclusivity in digital culture, and her work has been published in Information, Communication, and Society, Feminist Media Studies, and Loading… The Canadian Journal of Game Studies.
"Harvey’s book takes an uncompromising look at the role that family plays in the construction, negotiation and resistance to norms of appropriate pleasures. In doing so it reveals the complexity of the task ahead for those of us interested in ensuring that girls and women are full and equal participants in the culture and practice of computer games." -- Helen Kennedy, School of Art, Design and Media, University of Brighton, UK