Crisis' as Tool in the Digital Games Industry: Resistance or Command and Conquer?

Owen Livermore

Abstract


From media-driven moral panics to colossal business failures, digital games have historically been rife with crisis, defining the games industry and its practices to a significant degree. More recently, media discourse regarding the very aggressive global economic crisis is host to an ideological game where the form and context of crisis is shaped into a number of disparate and sometimes contradictory conclusions about the current state of digital game development. I will provide an overview pinpointing some of the recent claims made about the digital games industry and relate this discursive context to the ongoing challenges of the peoplewho work within it. Additionally, in an effort to address the title and theme of the Intersections2009 Conference, I wish to highlight the ways in which crisis can be “disruptive”, but also manipulable and productive in ways that reveal both hegemonic industry mandates and opportunities for bottom-up mobilization.

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