Arcade Photographs, Arcade Comics, Arcade Tales – A Social History of the British Amusement Arcade

Interactive media and games increasingly pervade and shape our society. In addition to their dominant roles in entertainment, videogames play growing roles in education, arts, science and health. These talks bring together a diverse set of experts to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on these media regarding their history, technologies, scholarly research, industry, artistic value and potential future. As the speakers and title suggest, the series also provides a topical lens for the diverse aspects of our lives.

Join us TUESDAY’S From January 10th until March 14th from 12pm-1pm in the McMurtry Art & Art History Building, Oshman Presentation Space, Room 102.

Can’t make it to the talk, but have a question for Alan? Submit your question HERE and it will be asked. By submitting your question, you’re allowing mediaX to use and record your submission.

Also listed as one-unit course BIOE196. For more information contact

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Alan Meades

Alan Meades, Arcade Photographs, Arcade Comics, Arcade Tales – A Social History of the British Amusement Arcade. This lecture will present Meades’ arcade culture research project, Arcade Tales, which uses comic books as a way of communicating and capturing oral histories from British arcades, and also a selection of rare and previously unseen arcade photographs from Canterbury Christ Church University’s George Wilson Archive. The George Wilson Archive of arcade photography was acquired in 2016 by the South East Archive of Seaside (SEAS) Photography, at Canterbury Christ Church University. The archive contains more than 450 photographs of life and play in British seaside arcades during the early 1980s, and as such offers a distinctly British counterpoint to Stanford University’s own Bay Area video arcades collection, photographed by Ira Nowinski. Arcade Tales aims to uncover and share narratives and personal histories about arcade play from a British perspective, voices largely absent in existing scholarly literature. While starting from a local perspective the findings have broader resonance, touching upon themes such as public and private play, working-class leisure, adolescence, and good old-fashioned fun. You are warmly invited to attend the playfully posed lecture, and to explore the connections between play cultures in the US and UK. A new Arcade Tales comic will also be distributed at the event.

Alan Meades is a design anthropologist, graphic designer and educator. He is Senior Lecturer in New Media Theory in Canterbury Christ Church University’s Department of Media, Art and Design. He holds a PhD from Brunel University exploring transgressive, oppositional and subversive modes of play within video game environments. Alan’s research utilises ethnographic methods to study videogame communities, including those who generate artwork as part of their interactions. He is currently working on video game and ethnography related User Experience Design projects and is keen to continue exploring the intersections between user behaviour, creative practice, video games and notions of ownership.