Ludic Worlds in Art, Design, and Media
Published by: Indiana University Press
In Gaming Utopia: Ludic Worlds in Art, Design, and Media, Claudia Costa Pederson analyzes modernist avant-garde and contemporary video games to challenge the idea that gaming is an exclusively white, heterosexual, male, corporatized leisure activity and reenvisions it as a catalyst for social change.
By looking at over fifty projects that together span a century and the world, Pederson explores the capacity for sociopolitical commentary in virtual and digital realms and highlights contributions to the history of gaming by women, queer, and transnational artists. The result is a critical tool for understanding video games as imaginative forms of living that offer alternatives to our current reality.
With an interdisciplinary approach, Gaming Utopia emphasizes how game design, creation, and play can become political forms of social protest and examines the ways that games as art open doors to a more just and peaceful world.
1. The Avant-Garde Plays
2. Action, Participation, and the Digital Avant-Garde
3. Cybernetic Ecologies of Art and Counterculture
4. Gaming Electronic Civil Disobedience
5. A Dreampolitik of Persuasive and Other Queer Games
Conclusion: Unfinished Processes
Gaming Utopia is meticulously researched and provides original insights through its focus on the relationship between avant-garde traditions and political theories of emancipatory social change. . . . It uses highly accessible language and will most definitely be of interest to a general audience interested in the history and culture of videogames, as well as in issues relating to activism and emancipatory social change.~Judith Aston
Pederson brings a particular and consistent understanding of what a 'game' is, one that distinguishes her work from that of other gaming scholars.~Kevin Hamilton