[artinfo] Video game subcultures: Playing at the periphery of mainstream culture

Paolo Ruffino p.ruffino at gmail.com
Tue Apr 15 11:02:43 CEST 2014

G|A|M|E - n. 3/2014
Issue 3, 2014 - Video game subcultures: Playing 
at the periphery of mainstream culture
Edited by M. B. Carbone & P. Ruffino

Freely available online at: 

This issue of GAME Journal offers an overview and 
a series of case studies on video games from the 
point of view of subcultural theory.

There has been little work in game studies from 
this perspective, which offers a theoretical 
frame for the ever growing complexity of the 
audiences involved with the medium of the video 
game. The study of subcultures on the other hand 
has a long standing and complex tradition which 
culminates in what has been recently defined as 
the "post-subcultural" theoretical scenario.

As games are increasingly evoked for their 
interplay with other media and their role in 
defining and shaping our cultures, carrying 
artistic, cultural and social meanings - both 
ideologies and conversely "engaged", 
"alternative", or "redemptive" discourses -  it 
becomes increasingly important to accompany the 
merely descriptive and (inter)textualist analysis 
shared by many approaches in game studies with 
elements of social and subcultural theory.

The variety of the contributions collected in the 
present issue testifies how a study of video game 
subcultures is necessarily centrifugal: if we 
imagine the studies of the tendencies of the 
mainstream market as oriented towards the 
"centre" of video game culture, then analyses of 
marginalised and under-represented forms of 
reception look instead towards unlimited and 
dispersed directions.

In this issue we proudly welcome papers with very 
diverse geographical focuses, based on a variety 
of methodologies and interested in phenomena 
which occurred in different periods in the 
history of the video game industry.


Vol. 1 - Journal (peer-reviewed)
Cover Art: KINSHASA vs AKIHABARA (Giovanni Fredi 

M. B. Carbone & P. Ruffino - Introduction: games and subcultural theory
G. Zhang - The stroller in the virtual city: 
spatial practice of Hong Kong players in Sleeping 
R. Gallagher - From camp to kitsch? A queer eye on console fandom
T. Plothe - "I'm a rogue night elf". Avatars, gaming and The Big Bang Theory
I. Márquez - Playing new music with old games: The chiptune subculture
G. Menotti - Videorec as gameplay: Recording of 
playthroughs and video game engagement
A. Harvey - Twine's revolution: Democratization, 
depoliticization, and the queering of game design
H. Tyni & O. Sotamaa - Assembling a game 
development scene?  Uncovering Finland's largest 
demo party

Vol. 2 - Critical notes (non-peer reviewed)
Cover Art: Contradictions (Filippo Minelli - 

M. Fuchs - Nordic game subcultures: between LARPers and avant-garde
T. Oliveira, E. Ferreira, L. Carvalho & A. 
Boechat - Tribute and Resistance: Participation 
and affective engagement in Brazilian  fangame 
makers and modders' subcultures
R. Sampugnaro, S. Mica, S. Fallica, A. Bonaiuto & 
M. Mingrino - Participation at the Global Game 
Jam event: a bridge between consumer and producer 
worlds in digital entertainment
paolo ruffino

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