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Careware: Care and Meaning Making in/as/of/through Games

I’m giving a talk at the SCA Biennial Meeting in Detroit on May 10, 2014. Originally I was going be talking about “epistemic care,” but for a variety of reasons I’ve switched to this new talk. Yes, I usually make fun of people for doing this, but I couldn’t help it. It was time for me to begin adapting the concept of Meaningful Play to how I’ve come to think about it.

Here is a nice line from the conclusion:

Games, whether being made or being played, for better or worse, remain meaning making systems. Increasingly, I would argue that they are important systems of meaning making because they respond to the player. It is precisely the oscillation between objectification and subjective sense-making that lend them their interpretive and deconstructive demeanor. The systems of the world around us, just as opaque as those of a game seem nonsensical. Games, on the other hand, must have discrete systems that can be teased out. Yet, the fact that they are clearly constructed systems make them open to criticism and refactoring in a way that the systems of the world around do not.

About Casey O'Donnell

Casey O'Donnell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Information at Michigan State University. He is part of the games faculty and Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) lab at MSU. He is also part of the game development collective Affinity Games. His research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. His research examines issues of work, production, copyright, as well as third world and postcolonial aspects of the videogame development workplace.

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