The Meaning of Videogaming
Playing video games is a way to have fun, hang out with friends, and spend your time. But how does videogaming both shape and reflect our culture and our way of living as a society? In this seminar, we’ll learn about the meaning of videogaming from a sociologist’s perspective, as an “idioculture.” Videogaming is fundamentally a social activity: in game-play we learn to follow rules, but also how and when we are supposed to bend the rules. We learn about honor, cheating, and honorable forms of cheating. We make pretend claims to status, and we participate with the tools of the game—heroes, villains, music, competition—to develop a sense of ourselves. In this course we will study the nature of play, play video games, and critically observe other game players in order to understand this idioculture both theoretically and practically.