Wooden Flows and Cardboard Algorithms: Abstracting the Human in Pax Transhumanity
– Miles Hubble
We Don’t Cut Corners”: Wendy’s Feast of Legends and the Subversion of Gamified Advertising
– Megan Condis
The Players are the Product: A Study of Player Communities, Community Managers, and Zombies
– Daniel Warmke
Spring is finally here in North America, and we hope it produces more good news than bad. That being said, it is 2021 and there is much reason to be cautious. Some good news, besides the Ever Given no longer blocking the Suez Canal: we are already receiving many wonderful abstracts for our GENeration Analog conference (Deadline is April 15th! CFP is here), which will still be held online and welcome participants from around the world. Some cautious news: we are still weighing our options between holding the event in August or September, based on Gen Con’s date shift to September 16-19. We will let everyone know as soon as we know more.
The theme of this issue for us as editors is continuity. Now in our journal’s eighth year, we find discussions started years ago now taking on a different shape with a new generation of scholars. Miles Hubble in “Wooden Flows and Cardboard Algorithms: Abstracting the Human in Pax Transhumanity” continues a long-running conversation in the pages of Analog Game Studies on board games as a means of algorithmic persuasion and ideological commentary. Building on nearly two decades of game ideology research, Hubble highlights how Pax Transhumanity models and critiques a reality beneficial to corporate power. In “We Don’t Cut Corners”: Wendy’s Feast of Legends and the Subversion of Gamified Advertising,” Megan Condis continues AGS conversations on tabletop RPGs as modern sites of contested meaning. Condis points out that an analog advergame such as the Wendy’s RPG Feast of Legends can both encourage players to engage with the brand as well as subvert virtually every value that brand stands for. Finally, Daniel Warmke in “The Players are the Product: A Study of Player Communities, Community Managers, and Zombies” pulls together our long-standing conversations on larp players and community practices with those on video-gaming communities and player typologies. Warmke weighs the suitability of various models to grapple with the emergent play of the Humans vs. Zombies pervasive live game on the Ohio University campus since the 2000s.
We are pleased and proud that, despite intensive disruption, our contributors have constructed new knowledge using tools and arguments advanced in earlier volumes of AGS. Our little corner in the garden of Game Studies continues to blossom and grow this spring.
Featured image “Vivid Purple Flower” by Lucy Haydon @Flickr CC BY-NC-ND.