Counting clicks: Gameplay metrics, power and the body politics of competitive videogames
Dr Tom Brock (Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University)
This talk develops a critical approach towards competitive videogaming by considering how gameplay metrics, such as ‘actions-per-minute’ and ‘match-making rank’, extend neoliberal political formations through the surveillance and control of players’ bodily practices. By way of examples from DOTA2, it argues that competitive videogames attune players’ habits and practices to affect economic methodologies and rationales on themselves and others. This is important for critiquing how videogames promote the competitive market as an ideal social formation whilst obscuring its negative psychological and sociological effects.
Tom Brock is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests include play, games and social theory. He has authored publications on esports, player skill, failure, player labour and digital games consumption in peer-reviewed journals including, Games and Culture, Journal of Consumer Culture, and Information, Communication and Society. Tom has also published widely on social, political and cultural theory in peer-reviewed journals including, The Sociological Review, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour and the Journal of Critical Realism.
Date: 3rd April 2019
Time: 14:00 – 15:30