Date: Tuesday 20th March
Room: RHB 137
Place: Goldsmiths College
Free and all welcome.
In a world which seems increasingly game-like, what is the cultural function of actual computer games? McKenzie Wark argues that our game-like everyday life, in which work is a rat race, politics a horse race, and the economy a casino, does not actually follow the rules of the game it so vigorously espouses. The playing field is not level, competition is rarely ‘perfect’. Computer games appear in relation to this experience of everyday life as the only place where the rule actually work, where play comes close to perfection. Thus games are the utopian version of everyday game-play, and can be the basis of a critical theory of everyday life in an imperfect ‘gamespace’.
Beside talking about the content of his new book, Gamer Theory, Wark will also talk about its form. It began life as a collaborative web based text in a specially designed web interface. The writing of the book was in itself a kind of play between its originator and the readers who became collaborative co-authors.
McKenzie Wark is the author of Gamer Theory (Harvard University Press), A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard) and several other things. He is associate professor of sociology at the New School for Social Research and culture and media at Eugene Lang College, in New York City.