Game academics, FIGHT!

I can’t say I really know if this is a genuine polemic punchup or a cleverly disguised troll a melange, but it certainly is interesting.
Ian Bogost attacks Roger Travis’ escapist article for (I think) attacking him and others for creating game studies as a discipline to rule them all, rather than retreat back to the warm feverish embrace of “mainstream culture” (whatever that is).
It all derives from “Opinion: Ceci N’est Pas Une Gamer” so perhaps one needs to read that first.

I guess I came across this as Associate Professor Roger Travis is a classics scholar using (designing?) games for history-based learning…

I can’t stand gamers.
No, that’s not quite true. I can’t stand the concept of gamers.
And no, I’m not some anti-gaming nutcase …
Hell, I like videogames so much that I’m doing a friggin’ PhD in game studies.
– Douglas Wilson, in GameSetWatch, April 2008

Should we care if Douglas Wilson, a doctoral candidate in game studies, hates us? I think we have to…The problem with game studies – the thing that gives rise to opinions like Wilson’s – is that the effort to create and maintain the discipline is keeping gaming from winning the respect it deserves. Against all appearances, scholars are pursuing game studies to the detriment of gamer culture.By pretending that game studies stands alone as a unified discipline rather than at the nexus of various other fields, scholars of game studies (and those of departments that call themselves things like “digital media studies”) are institutionalizing exactly what Wilson feels: antipathy to the real culture of gaming. The more entrenched the notion becomes that gamers are abnormal and defective, the longer it will take for real works of art like Sins of a Solar Empire, BioShock and, yes, even Halo to vindicate gaming as a worthwhile pursuit.”

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