"Finding Nature in the Games We Play"
Dr. Alenda Chang, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
Humanity+Technology Lecture Series
Lawrence Technological University
November 5, 2020, 12:30-1:45 pm
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Abstract: What if starting up a game could offer us as meaningful a natural experience as going outdoors? Games, especially digital ones, are frequently dismissed as frivolous, arcane, or violent, and people tend to picture those who play them as antisocial boys sitting hunched indoors. But research shows that games are played by nearly everyone, often together with others, and increasingly, that they are played wherever we go. This talk contends that games today offer unique and playfully persuasive opportunities not only to engage directly with environmental issues, but also to foster moments of empathy, loss, care, experimentation, and optimism—ways of seeing and dealing with our troubled world anew.
Speaker bio: Alenda Chang is an Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her first book, Playing Nature: Ecology in Video Games, develops environmentally informed frameworks for understanding and designing digital games (University of Minnesota Press, December 2019). Chang is the founding co-editor of a new UC Press open-access journal, Media+Environment, and at UC Santa Barbara she co-directs Wireframe, a media studio that promotes collaborative theoretical and creative media practice with investments in global social and environmental justice.
The Humanity+Technology lecture series offers a public conversation about the world we make and what it means, and is made possible through the financial support of the Michigan Humanities Council. Learn more at our website.