On Balinese Cockfights: Deeply Extending Play

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On Balinese Cockfights: Deeply Extending Play

Posted by: Casey O’Donnell on August 22, 2014 in Journal Publications Leave a comment 75 views 0

Games and Culture Cover

Games and Culture Cover

Hot off the press over at Games and Culture is my essay, “On Balinese Cockfights: Deeply Extending Play.” This essay is a stepping stone to more recent theoretical work I’ve been exploring w/re to Meaningful Play. Yes, I recognize that it is a bit funny that Michigan State University also hosts a conference by the same name. I am also chairing the conference this year.

ABSTRACT
In this article, I advance three points, each in service of “extending play” as a critical conceptual category. The article begins with Clifford Geertz’s essay “Deep Play,” tracing through its lens the possibilities for “deeply extending play.” The essay extends Geertz’s argument that games and play are in/as/of/through culture. Games and play are not generative of, reflective of, or just culture. Rather they are intensely interwoven. I argue that games and play, as conceptual categories, need to be viewed as “experimental systems,” and those concepts deserve to be informed by alternative perspectives. Finally, the article returns to the notion of “meaningful play” as mechanism of sense making and cultural negotiations with structures. Meaningful play lies at the core of exploration and encourages a different kind of reading of play(ful) spaces. Meaningful play is part of what makes games and play so fundamentally an aspect of the human (and nonhuman) condition.

Get the PDF over at SAGE if you have access. If you don’t, then send me an email. Or grab the pre-peer-review version of the essay over on Academia.edu.

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Casey O'Donnell
Casey O’Donnell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University. His research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional “AAA” organizations and formal and informal “independent” game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. His research examines issues of work, production, copyright, as well as third world and postcolonial aspects of the videogame development workplace. Casey is also an active game developer, releasing his first independent game, “Osy,” in February of 2011.
Casey O'Donnell

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