On the Visual Politics of Video Games

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 April 4th until June 6th from 12pm-1pm in the Sapp Center for Science Teaching & Learning RM 114

Can’t make it to the talk, but have a question for Soraya? 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 Ingmar@stanford.edu

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Soraya Murray

Soraya Murray, On the Visual Politics of Video Games. As quintessential forms of visual material in the twenty-first century, mainstream games both mirror and spur larger societal fears, hopes and dreams, and even address complex struggles for recognition. Utilizing and approach rooted in cultural studies and visual studies, Soraya Murray critically explores blockbusters like The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid, Spec Ops: The Line, Tomb Raider and Assassin’s Creed to show how they are deeply entangled with American ideological positions and contemporary political, cultural and economic conflicts. Murray examines both their elaborately constructed characters and densely layered worlds, whose social and environmental landscapes express ideas about gender, race, globalization and urban life, within a post-9/11 U.S. context. In this emerging field of study, Murray provides novel theoretical tools for discussing games as culture. Demonstrating that playable media are at the frontline of power relations, she reimagines how we see them – and more importantly how we understand them.

Soraya Murray (Ph.D. Cornell University) is Assistant Professor in the Film & Digital Media Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She teaches contemporary visual culture, with a particular interest in art, digital media and games. She is principal faculty in the Digital Arts & New Media MFA Program and the Art + Design: Games + Playable Media Program. Two of her anthologized essays on the military game genre, gender, and race may be found in Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming, eds. Pat Harrigan and Matthew G. Kirschenbaum (The MIT Press, 2016) and Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games, eds. Jennifer Malkowski and TreaAndrea M. Russworm (Indiana University Press, 2017). Murray’s On Video Games: The Visual Politics of Race, Gender and Space is forthcoming from I.B. Tauris (London) in Fall 2017.