SCMS 2021 Panel Participation

Sunday, March 21 4:00 PM – 5:45 PM PDT I’ll be speaking on some of my new critical games studies writing on representation as part of #scms21 with fantastic colleagues Alenda Chang, Tara Fickle, and Christopher Patterson!

Panel: V12: Diversity Beyond Representation: Critical Video Game Studies at a Crossroads

My talk: Video Games and Representation: Methodologies of the Hollow and the Loaded

Thanks to UCSC’s Computational Media…

…for a wonderful visit! On 1 February 2021, I was pleased to share some of my forthcoming writing on video games, aesthetics and political affect with UCSC’s Computational Media PhD students and faculty. Special thanks to Samantha Conde for hosting.

From this essay, forthcoming in the European Journal of American Studies:

Days Gone becomes useful not as a literal political perspective, but as an object of concentrated political intensity of feeling.”

November 4, 2020- University of Sussex Lecture – Days Gone

A belated but very heartfelt thanks to my colleagues in the U.K., especially Dr. Irene Fubara-Manuel, for the kind invitation to speak as part of the research seminars series at the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex. Given the topic, it was definitely intense sharing this particular research one day after the U.S. election…

America is Dead. Long Live America!: Political Affect in Days Gone 


In this presentation, Murray considers political affect in the open world action-adventure survival horror game Days Gone (SIE Bend Studios, 2019). Through its rendering of the Pacific Northwest landscape as ideology, much is revealed about a deeply troubled and oppositional worldview. While her research addresses matters of representation—particularly notions of fraught masculinity and a struggle for recognition—Murray’s focus is on how the game functions as a window onto a fantasy of American self-reliance and populism that strongly resonates with a Trump-era nationalist turn in the U.S. The work also gestures toward a methodology of experiential close-reading, one focused on working-through and sitting with a difficult aesthetic object that may at first seem entirely generic. In this essay, Murray reaches through the offending, formulaic image to grasp the political affect that emanates from a sustained aesthetic experience of playing Days Gone.