Now Online: Video Games as Visual Culture


My course FILM 80V Video Games as Visual Culture is now being offered as a UCSC Summer Online course beginning this summer. For 2020, I’m piloting an intensive 5-week version of the course. In the future, it will be offered in summers, as well as at least once at its normal 10-week length, during the normal academic year. I developed this course in 2009 to introduce the study of video games through their cultural meanings, visual, theoretical and social contexts.

Art Journal Summer 2020 Special Focus on Games and Landscape


The Summer 2020 issue of Art Journal is here, and features my special focus dossier on game space and landscape, marking the first time video games have been included in the publication, since its beginnings in 1941. The issue and my project,  Horizons Already Here, can be viewed for free, until the end of September— see below. My heartfelt appreciation goes out to all my collaborators and colleagues who made the special focus possible!

Soraya Murray
Horizons Already Here: Video Games and Landscape

Soraya Murray
Artist’s Project: Harun Farocki’s Parallel

Dorothy R. Santos
Domain Errors within Interactive Speculative Space(s)

Eugénie Shinkle
Of Particle Systems and Picturesque Ontologies: Landscape, Nature, and Realism in Video Games

Alenda Y. Chang
Rambunctious Games: A Manifesto for Environmental Game Design

Hava Aldouby
An Outsider in Grand Theft Auto: Phil Solomon
Interview with Phil Solomon

Dorothy R. Santos
From Pixels to Text: Articulations of the Body in Digital Landscapes and Imagined Space(s)

Tracy Fullerton
A Year at Play in the Woods of Walden Pond

Artist’s Project: The Long Road of Silicon

De Gruyter Oldenbourg’s Video Games and the Humanities Advisory Board!


I’m pleased to be a part of De Gruyter Oldenbourg’s Video Games and the Humanities Advisory Board!

This series provides a multidisciplinary framework for scholarly approaches to video games in the humanities. It focuses especially on the dialectics of methodology and object: how do different scholarly fields apply their theories and methods to video games, and how do video games in turn affect these theories and methods?

This series seeks to reconnect media-centric Game Studies to the disciplines it had to distance itself from in its foundation, such as literary studies or film studies, in an attempt to use their differences and contact zones in a mutually productive dialogue. It also seeks to present innovative approaches in other fields in the humanities that have yet to consider video games in a systematic way, and give a home to ground-breaking publications that push the boundaries of existing discourses and debates. In this endeavor, the series is committed to a decidedly global scope as it assembles perspectives from different cultural and academic contexts.

In short, this series wants to see what the humanities do with video games and what video games do to the humanities.
Advisory Board:

Alenda Y. Chang, UC Santa Barbara

Katherine J Lewis, University of Huddersfield

Dietmar Meinel, University of Duisburg-Essen

Soraya Murray, UC Santa Cruz

Michael Nitsche, Georgia Tech

Martin Picard, Leipzig University

Melanie Swalwell, Swinburne University

Mark J.P. Wolf, Concordia University