Games and/as Resistance (Sept 1, 2011)

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Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture

Reconstruction 12.2: Games as/and Resistance

Countercultures are largely viewed as historical artifacts. While it has been a critical commonplace for Cultural Studies courses to focus on the idea of the dominant culture's hegemonic tendency, individuals and groups still find interesting and creative methods of resisting that tendency, especially through modes of play. The advent of digital culture, and especially the Internet, has opened new avenues for activism and resistance, in large part due to the decentralized, nodeless and non-hierarchical structure which often foils efforts at containment by centralized bureaucratic and governmental institutions. Moreover, digital/video games offer the potential to combine play, resistance and the accessibility of the Internet. What, then, are the attractions and the impediments to participating in cultural resistance through digital/video games? Is the resistance offered within digital/video games "real," placebic or institutionalized? How are members of disaffected (racial, ethnic, gender, class, etc.) groups affected and how do they react? How and why is culture the site of contestation, dissent or "otherness"? This edition seeks to answer these questions through an exploration of the diffuse and disparate methods and practices of contemporary cyber activism, with special emphasis on games, creativity and playfulness. As a corollary goal this collection hopes to examine the contingent relationship between youth cultures and cultural resistance. While historical and theoretical concepts towards a critical understanding of cultural resistance are always welcome, special attention should be paid to the possibility of personal participation in peaceful, playful dissent.

Editors Jason Thompson (U of Wyoming) and Marc Ouellette (Managing Editor, Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture) seek completed papers or abstracts of no more than 800 words by Sept 1 2011 Send to: and

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN: 1547-4348) is an innovative online cultural studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies. Reconstruction publishes three themed issues and one open issue per year. Send open submissions (year round) to and submissions for themed issues to the appropriate editors listed on the site at Reconstruction also accepts proposal for special issue editors and topics. Reconstruction is indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.