This space is the repository for the papers, presentations (slides, videos, etc) that will form the basis of the CSDH-SCHN 2021 online conference, to take place May 30-June 3rd.

Navigating hybridity, mashup and messy collisions with and within Digital Humanities

Jagoda (2014) argues that “life in our historical moment is becoming permeated by games” (p. 190). Games are a part of the lives of those living within affluent North American publics. In our present moment, games are integrated with, embedded within or, in some cases, devouring whole other cultural and artistic practices. We live in an era of convergence and mashup. It is a time of messy entanglement and boundaries breached. The interwoven nature of games within other digital cultural practices make it challenging for scholars to separate once disparate threads from the whole cloth of digital expression.

Here’s the full video presentation:

Games are a “situation” for the digital humanities (Jagoda, p. 191). Digital humanities and its constellation of related disciplines such as critical code studies, platform studies, social technologies, information networks, literature and digital art scholarship and the philosophies of media, are all confronted by and must confront games. I argue, per Jagoda (2014) that scholars must expand beyond framing, thinking, critiquing and writing to making which Jagoda (2014) suggests is a “hermeneutic that enables processes and a mode of world-making that makes possible the process of developing, testing, and transforming concepts” (p. 190). As a game designer, maker and scholar, I understand we must become increasingly fluent in the multi-modal design and systems grammar per Gee (2005) that our game-permeated culture demands. How else to analyze a messy entanglement and mashup like a previously-uncategorizable Frankenstenian digital/analog/literary creature like the game The Chronicles of Crime, a mixed reality, 360° VR murder who-dunnit and cooperative experience with a dynamic and evolving digital narrative designed to teach players about the rigours and failures of modern police procedurals and grisly forensics? This case study will serve to exemplify how the awkward hybridity and complexities of games confronts digital humanities in our contemporary culture.

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