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York University

1. Shamdani, Sara. Affect & Play: Socio-political Videogames as a Site of Felt-knowledge Production.

Degree: PhD, Social & Political Thought, 2021, York University

Videogames are affective networks, made up of organic and in-organic matters that come to create a space, where the player learns through doing and watching herself do. For decades, videogames researchers and players have discussed the myriad of ways in which videogames carry enormous pedagogical potentials through their procedures and the creation of a space of play that immerses the player in those procedures and the story of the game. This dissertation builds on this body of knowledge by bringing together the different understandings of affect and affective capacities to further examine the pedagogical potentials of socio-political games through the creation of a felt-knowledge-producing assemblage. I argue this felt knowledge is achieved through the processes of acting in the space of play, watching that action while it takes place, and then engaging with the consequences of the said action. The socio-political videogames curated for the purposes of this research are primarily from the perspectives of civilians living in a warzone, engaging in revolutionary efforts, or civilians who are forced to cross borders as refugees and immigrants as a result of chaos and violence of their homelands. I examine the affective capacities of the space of play through the works of D. W. Winnicott, and I assert that the unique space of videogame play is not only a space where we work through sensations that impact us through play, but we also experience affective intensities that would otherwise remain invisible. In order to access this space of play, I claim the player becomes an assemblage, a network of connectivity, with the power to observe itself forming and reforming through the connections that make the entity: the player+avatar. For this I turn to the work of Gilles Deleuze and assemblage theory. This dissertation, itself, is an assemblage of affect theories and socio-political videogames that capture the invisibilities of our socio-political reality and make them known through the process of play. These games put the player in the story of anothers suffering and oppression by capturing the affective sensations and intensities of a refugee camp or a war zone and ask the player to engage and experiment with what would have been otherwise remained unknown. These socio-political videogames are a new genre of art for an age of digital (mis)information that bring forth a space of play where we can experience and experiment with sensations, vibrations, and affective forces of oppression in order to feel something of it and to know it differently. Advisors/Committee Members: Bell, Shannon M. (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Pedagogy; Affect Theory; Videogames; Video games; D. W. Winnicott; Gilles Deleuze; Assemblage Theory; Play; The Avatar and the Player; Socio-political videogames; Aesthetic theory; Art; 1979 Revolution: Black Friday; This War of Mine; Papers Please; Bury Me My Love; 1000 Days of Syria

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Shamdani, S. (2021). Affect & Play: Socio-political Videogames as a Site of Felt-knowledge Production. (Doctoral Dissertation). York University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10315/38188

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Shamdani, Sara. “Affect & Play: Socio-political Videogames as a Site of Felt-knowledge Production.” 2021. Doctoral Dissertation, York University. Accessed April 22, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/10315/38188.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Shamdani, Sara. “Affect & Play: Socio-political Videogames as a Site of Felt-knowledge Production.” 2021. Web. 22 Apr 2021.

Vancouver:

Shamdani S. Affect & Play: Socio-political Videogames as a Site of Felt-knowledge Production. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. York University; 2021. [cited 2021 Apr 22]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/38188.

Council of Science Editors:

Shamdani S. Affect & Play: Socio-political Videogames as a Site of Felt-knowledge Production. [Doctoral Dissertation]. York University; 2021. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/38188

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