Playing Pleasure: Exploring the Intersection of Pornography and Gaming / SCMS Atlanta: March 30 - April 3 2016

full name / name of organization: 
John Stadler and Jordan Wood

This panel explores the intersection of gaming and pornography. Within academia, the study of pornography and games arrived independently as agitative epistemologies, appearing in relative concomitance, but the two discourses are not often put into conversation, even though they share several similarities. Discursively, they have occupied a historically marginal position within academic film and media discourses. Both fields have also had to account for patriarchal violence and masculinist heteronormativity that have often circumscribed the meaning and consumption of these modes of entertainment. In the case of the objects themselves, similarities extend to formal and functional qualities as well. Gaming takes play as its primary function, whereas pornography takes pleasure as its intended project, but the distinction between pleasure and play proves rather slippery. While clear distinctions remain in each's conceptualization of form, utility, consumption, power, and politics, the space between gaming and pornography is fertile ground for theorizing technology, the body, fantasy, and capital. This panel intends to explore the porousness between the two fields as well as the two entertainment objects, notably in moments of conjuncture. Recently, pornography has begun to adopt formal features of gaming as a central component to its reception, while video games have increasingly been a site for exploring embodiment, gender, and sexuality. This panel seeks to address the intersection of pornography and gaming more productively in order to eke out dialectical resonances that emerge when we think the two together. For more information, please contact John Stadler at or Jordan Wood at Submit abstracts (300 words maximum), contact information, and brief biography to both email addresses by August 1, 2015.