-Special 02

Table of Contents: Issue -Special 02

Articles

Playing Before God: Theology and Play in Dialogue 

Special Issue 2: Play Conference

Play Conference"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
Plato

"Play is the exultation of the possible."
Martin Buber

Alex Tate : "A million years...just for us": Subversive fixity in Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock

Abstract

Donna Haraway's "Cyborg Manifesto" identifies the potential for marginalised sub-groups to resist oppression by "seizing the tools to mark the world that marked them as other". In the field of visual representation, this agenda can be applied to the aesthetic syntax by which this 'Othering' is deployed, namely to the formal parameters and construction of marginalised identities.

Emma Westecott : The Performance of Digital Play

Introduction

‘… videogames, whether console-based or online, embody the most expansive and successful display of involvement in theater-based concerns that the world has ever witnessed.’ (Dixon 620)

Steve Dixon’s introduction to the history, theory and practice of digital media in performance is perhaps the first core performance theory text to take videogames seriously. He argues that the visual nature of videogames together with their ‘essentially plebian’ content (Dixon 621) accounts for the slow interest in this form by the academy.

Anna Fruchart Watz : Violence as Surrealist Play in Angela Carter's Shadow Dance

Honeybuzzard, one of the main characters of Angela Carter’s début novel Shadow Dance (1966), has been described by one critic as playing like a big cat, tirelessly and cruelly; “anything and anyone is fair game” (Sage 11). He plays with and ridicules his friends and acquaintances, pulling whoopee cushions, blackface soap, plastic snot and exploding cigarettes out of his bottomless joke-bag. Honeybuzzard has organised his life completely in accordance with the play impulse, and he is not interested in anything structured by rational behaviour, work or profit.

Valentina Rao : Playful Culture and the Glamorization of Everyday (Virtual) Life: Elements of Play in Facebook Applications

In the general frame of a “ludification of culture” (Raessens 1) we are witnessing the rise of hybrid entertainment products such as Facebook Applications, media phenomena difficult to define as “games” or “play”, that carry a large share in the responsibility for social interaction within social networks. Are Facebook Applications and its clones in other networks like Bebo or MySpace a form of casual games, are they “just for fun”, how do they participate in the general cultural trend that incorporates play elements in non-play environments?

Corrado Morgana : In Arcadia: Landscape filming in a toxic wastelandGame engine affordances and post-game narratives

Videogames, whether immersive simulations or abstract puzzlers, impose their own set of internal logics upon the player. If the player decides to transgress or subvert the rules or normal behaviour without directly affecting the software system itself through modification or hacking, these same internal logics still affect the player or ‘subvertors’ behaviour; the videogame has its own set of affordances, the properties that an artefact or system has that influence interaction.

Emma Miller : The Mad Man in the Attic: Playing with Gendered Literary Identity as Object and Muse in Iris Murdoch's The Good Apprentice and The Message to the Planet.

Within The Good Apprentice and The Message to the Planet, Iris Murdoch appears to be consciously manipulating both Harold Bloom’s Anxiety of Influence, and Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s feminist response to Bloom, The Madwoman in the Attic, in order to challenge both her readership’s presuppositions on madness in general, and more specifically how the depiction of madness in literature can be seen to relate to sexuality, religion and gender.

Christie Ko : Politics of Play: Situationism, Détournement, and Anti-Art

In addition to contributing crucially to the philosophy that fuelled the student revolts of France in 1968, the Situationist International (SI) sought to undermine the use of spectacle as a commercialised tool of capitalism. Blending their interpretations of Marxism with that of the historical avant-garde, the situationists went to war with the institutions of art and academia.

Camilla Ulleland Hoel : The Ludic Parody of Terry Pratchett

This paper will look at how Pratchett’s universe creates a ludic parody through its use of juxtaposition, puncturing and awareness of stereotypes. I will also show through an analysis of some of Pratchett’s characters how narrative conventions are undermined. Finally, I will show how Pratchett, by using the Discworld as a background for more specific parody, manages to avoid Bakhtin’s charge of modern parody as narrow ridicule.

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