UCL Anthropology


The Work of Games in the Age of Digital Production

27 October 2014

Thomas Malaby

The Centre for Digital Anthropology is proud to present a talk by Thomas Malaby, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Date and Time: October 31, 2014. 3.00PM
: Darryl Forde Seminar Room, UCL Anthropology, 14 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW

The talk is free and open to the public.

The projects of governance at the heart of state and other institutional control under the context of modernity have been marked by a heavy reliance on two cultural forms, ritual and bureaucracy, each of which organizes action and meaning through distinctive invocations of order. The steady rise of liberal thought and practice, particularly in the economic realm (following, if partially, Adam Smith) has gradually challenged the efficacy of these cultural forms, with open-ended systems (more or less contrived - from elections to the "free" market) exerting more and more influence both on policy and in other areas of cultural production. It is in this context that games are becoming the potent site for new kinds of institutional projects today. By considering what has changed to make the domestication (as it were) of games possible, and also reflecting on how these other forms have been put to work by institutions, we can begin to chart the landscape ahead for games and institutions under the context of digitally-networked regimes and ask key questions about what issues of policy and ethics they raise.