Visiting Artist: Jenny Sundén

Visiting scholar, Jenny Sundén, will be giving a brown bag
lunch talk for us titled:

“Affective Gaming: Close Playing as Sensuous Criticality”

The talk will take place on November 17th at 1:10pm (Dean’s
hours) in the Film and Media department conference room (HN

This presentation takes a close look at the notion of ’close
playing’ as critical strategy in understanding computer game
culture, using the online game World of Warcraft as its core
example. Close playing is a medium specific take on ‘close
reading’. But in contrast to a tradition in which close
playing is primarily understood to be rational, critical, and
‘in control’, this presentation recognizes the critical
potential of emotion, sensation, and the perhaps out-of-
control element of game play. Set against the backdrop of the
‘affective turn’ in cultural and feminist theory, the
presentation develops an understanding of online gaming by
investigating embodied experiences, affective investments and
circulations within game spaces. Ultimately, it asks what an
online game like World of Warcraft puts in motion, and what
consequences such stirring may have for ways of thinking – and
feeling – games, critically, yet sensitively.

Jenny Sundén is Associate Professor at the Department of Media
Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm.
Her research interests are primarily in new media studies,
cultural studies, science and technology studies, queer
feminist theory, ethnography, and games. She is the author of
Material Virtualities: Approaching Online Textual Embodiment
(Peter Lang, 2003), a co-editor of Cyberfeminism in Northern
Lights: Gender and Digital Media in a Nordic Context
(Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2007) and Second Nature:
Origins and Originality in Art, Science and New Media
(forthcoming, Axl Books). She is currently finishing (with
Malin Sveningsson) a book manuscript entitled Passionate Play:
Intersections of Gender and Sexuality in Computer Game