Play, Performance, and Identity: How Institutions Structure Ludic Spaces, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Play, Performance, and Identity

How Institutions Structure Ludic Spaces, 1st Edition

Edited by Matt Omasta, Drew Chappell


180 pages

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pub: 2015-02-24
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Play helps define who we are as human beings. However, many of the leisurely/ludic activities people participate in are created and governed by corporate entities with social, political, and business agendas. As such, it is critical that scholars understand and explicate the ideological underpinnings of played-through experiences and how they affect the player/performers who engage in them.

This book explores how people play and why their play matters, with a particular interest in how ludic experiences are often constructed and controlled by the interests of institutions, including corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, religious organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Each chapter explores diverse sites of play. From theme parks to comic conventions to massively-multiplayer online games, they probe what roles the designers of these experiences construct for players, and how such play might affect participants' identities and ideologies. Scholars of performance studies, leisure studies, media studies and sociology will find this book an essential reference when studying facets of play.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Play Matters Matt Omasta & Drew Chappell 2. Warriors, Wizards, and Clerics: Heroric Identify Construction in Live Action Role Playing Games Dani Snyder-Young 3. Homo Ludens and the Sharks: Structuring Alternative Realities while Shark Cage Diving in South Africa Michael Schwartz 4. Playfully Empowering: Stunt Runners and Momentary Performance Terry Brino-Dean 5. The Future of Family Play at Epcot John Newman 6. Mormons Think They Should Dance Megan Sanborn Jones 7. All the Dungeon's a Stage: The Lived Experiences of Commercial BDSM Players Danielle Szlawieniec-Haw 8. Cheering is Tied to Eating: Consumption and Excess in Immersive, Role-Specific Dinner Theatre Spaces Drew Chappell 9. Becoming Batman: Cosplay, Performance, and Ludic Transformation at Comic-Con Kane Anderson 10. Plaza Indonesia: Performing Modernity in a Shopping Mall Jennifer Goodlander 11. Britpicking as Cultural Policing in Fanfiction Erin Horáková 12. Dramatic Manipulations: Conflict, Empathy, and Identity in World of Warcraft Kimi Johnson 13. Afterword: Who are You? Matt Omasta & Drew Chappell

About the Editors

Matt Omasta is the Director of Theatre Education & Applied Theatre programs at Utah State University. His recent publications appear in Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre & Performance; Youth Theatre Journal; The International Journal of Education and the Arts and Theatre for Young Audiences Today.

Drew Chappell is an interdisciplinary researcher whose articles appear in Qualitative Inquiry, Children’s Literature in Education, and Youth Theatre Journal. His edited volume Children Under Construction: Critical Essays on Play as Curriculum was published by Peter Lang. Drew teaches theatre at Chapman University and California State University Fullerton.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering theatre and performance alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, and the avant-garde, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Performance
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General