Citation

Rationalizing Play: Games as Systems of Social Rationality

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Abstract:

This paper constructs a new framework for the study of games as sites of social rationalization, applying Feenberg's critical theory of technology. We begin by making the case for a consideration of games as systems of social rationality, akin to other modern systems such as capitalist markets and bureaucratic organizations. These systems are characterized by procedures such as precision and optimization that distinguish them from the surrounding lifeworld. When game rules are installed in software and deployed on the Internet a fundamental change in the nature of play occurs. This is especially true of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), through which a new rationalized social form involving millions of subscribers emerges. Like other rationalized institutions, this new social form is contested in various ways by its users. This paper relates these forms of user agency to the rationalizing strategies of video game corporations. The discussion contributes to the study of user agency in STS by focusing on a new domain in which users encounter technology as software code.
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Association:
Name: 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions
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http://www.4sonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373976_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Feenberg, Andrew. "Rationalizing Play: Games as Systems of Social Rationality" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Crystal City, VA, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373976_index.html>

APA Citation:

Feenberg, A. "Rationalizing Play: Games as Systems of Social Rationality" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting - Abstract and Session Submissions, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Crystal City, VA <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p373976_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: This paper constructs a new framework for the study of games as sites of social rationalization, applying Feenberg's critical theory of technology. We begin by making the case for a consideration of games as systems of social rationality, akin to other modern systems such as capitalist markets and bureaucratic organizations. These systems are characterized by procedures such as precision and optimization that distinguish them from the surrounding lifeworld. When game rules are installed in software and deployed on the Internet a fundamental change in the nature of play occurs. This is especially true of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), through which a new rationalized social form involving millions of subscribers emerges. Like other rationalized institutions, this new social form is contested in various ways by its users. This paper relates these forms of user agency to the rationalizing strategies of video game corporations. The discussion contributes to the study of user agency in STS by focusing on a new domain in which users encounter technology as software code.


Similar Titles:
Social Interactions in Video Game Playing: Motives, Interaction Homophily, and Social Capital

Uses and Gratifications of Social Games: Blending Social Networking and Game Play

A New Area of Video Game Research? The Pro-Social Effects of Playing Violent Video Games Cooperatively


 
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