Blog Archive

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Liveblogging GIA: Keynote: Technicity and Power, Helen Kennedy and Jon Dovey

Freefrom notes from GamesInAction Conference in Gothenburg 14th of May.

Keynote: Technicity and Power, Helen Kennedy and Jon Dovey

Helen W Kennedy and Jon Dovey 1

Swedish state policy. Education and research in the area.

Learning project that uses Never winter Nights.

Conventional literacy… Technicity.

Serious games… Training ground for digital aptitude… cyborg identities.

…friction free economy… Gates… chaos theory.

HK and JD: grains of sand in the oyster.

The subjects. Identities. Cultural framing of technology.

Technicity – cultural habitus. Particular kinds of technicity are privileged.

Subjectivity in flux.

Historical; three kinds of traditions.

Post-humanism. Tools as inorganic extensions. Network theory. Human subject in the network of things. Bateson. Ecology. Cybernetics. Continuity between human and machine. Stiegler. Inorganic beings. Machine and eroticism. /* I remember the book Emma W ordered on this subject */ Techno erotic’s.

Neo Frankfurt School. Refuses to let go of our relationship of power and technology. Tech in modernity and industrialisation. Reinscription of modernist dreams of power and machines. Matter transformed to abstract calculation. Turkle notes this in the Eliza program. Markuse's One Dimensional Man. Rationalisation applied to digital society. Kellner. Dominant technologies. Hegemonic. Themeberg. “working with wood is to be a carpenter.” Viral communication – non-hegemonic.

The hacker. Open source transparent tools to citizens. Turkle again, the personalised aspect. Cognitive styles in choice of systems.

Insider/outsider identities. Preferred subjects in the techno culture.

Conflict Vietnam series in Pivotal games studio. Jon made interviews. Manipulation machine. Creative expression. Particular taste, particular use of technology, resulting in a particular type of game.

Star systems.

The idea of the cyborg and the idea of the hacker. Runs through the biographies they’ve looked at. /* makes me associate to the speech Bartle made at Austin Game Conf 2005 where he drew up a picture of those who made the first muds, and the culture around the development in the late 70ties and early eighties. */

Romero and Carmack. Dislike authorities. The hacker ethos. Dominant technicity of game production cultures.

Dominant technicity in this context. 2 aspects:


Technicity is ever shifting. Dominance not stable, not guaranteed.

Now some examples. Difference. Alterity.

female quake players. Deployed contradictory feminist discourse. Foregrounding femaleness. Not a masculine retreat from femininity.

Scratching surface of discussion forums evident that female players perceived as damaging to game play

Works or Raina Lee.

//photographed quotes.

Experiment with 8 young player. Gender less important than technicity. Lord of the Rings game. Play styles.

Future direction

Helen W Kennedy and Jon Dovey 16

See some of the slides (link to photos on Flickr)