Browse results

Volume Editors: Jacque Lynn Foltyn and Laura Petican
For the contributors to In Fashion: Culture, Commerce, Craft, and Identity being “in fashion” is about self-presentation; defining how fashion is presented in the visual, written, and performing arts; and about design, craft, manufacturing, packaging, marketing and archives. The book’s international cast of authors engage “in” fashion from various disciplinary, professional, and creative perspectives; i.e., anthropology, archaeology, art history, cultural studies, design, environmental studies, fashion studies, history, international relations, literature, marketing, philosophy, sociology, technology, and theatre.

In Fashion has five sections:
• Fashioning Representations: Texts, Images, and Performances;
• Fashionable: Shopping, Luxury, and Vintage;
• Fashion’s Materials: Craft, Industry, and Innovation;
• Museum Worthy: Fashion and the Archive;
• Fashioning Cultural Identities: Case Studies.
Smart Technologies and Fundamental Rights covers a broad range of vital topics that highlight the ethical, socio-political, and legal challenges as well as technical issues of Artificial Intelligence with respect to fundamental rights. Either humanity will greatly profit from the use of AI in almost all domains in human life, which may eventually lead to a much better and more humane society, or it could be the case that people may misuse AI for idiosyncratic purposes and intelligent machines may turn against human beings. Therefore, we should be extremely cautious with respect to the technological development of AI because we might not be able to control the machines once they reached a certain level of sophistication.
What is video game culture and video games as culture? Culture at Play avoids easy answers and deceitful single definitions. Instead, the collected essays included here navigate the messy and exciting waters of video games, of culture, and of the meeting of video games and culture, and do so from four perspectives: Players: Types and Identities; The Human/The Machine: Agents, Ethics, and Affect; Compassion, Recognition, and the Interpersonal; and Learning through Play. As a form of play, video games can greatly affect our lives. As digital objects, they participate in our digital lives. As both, they have a noticeable impact on our relationships with others, with society, and with ourselves, and this is the scope of this book.
Volume Editors: Phil Shining and Nicol Michelle Epple
The wide spectrum of links and interrelations found amongst the diversity of human sexual expressions and spiritual practices around the world constitutes one of the most fruitful grounds of scholarly research today. Exploring Sexuality and Spirituality introduces an emerging academic field of studies focused on the multiplicity of problematizations intersecting spirituality and sexuality, from eroticism and ecstasy embodiments to inner spiritual cultivation, intimate relationships, sex education, and gender empowerment. This collection of essays addresses subjects such as prehistoric art, Queer Theology, BDSM, Tantra, the Song of Songs, ‘la petite mort’, asceticism, feminist performative protests, and sexually charged landscapes, among others. Through varied methodologies and state-of-the-art interdisciplinary approaches, this volume becomes highly useful for readers engaged in the integration of scholarly and practical knowledge.
An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Visual Literacy
Volume Editor: Julia Lane
Tracing Behind the Image: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Visual Literacy, discusses how our relationship to images, collectively and individually, is constantly shifting, as we adapt to the evolving image economy of our increasingly screen-based world. This volume offers pedagogies, analyses and strategies for developing visual literacy across education and industry.

The language of images embodies highly complex and nuanced statements and readings, the ability to invent and reinvent, it is bursting with opportunities to be lyrical, satirical, rhetorical, to unravel meanings, and to pose as many questions as it answers. It is a language of investigation and experimentation, it both constructs and shatters cultural expectations, and is constantly and rapidly transforming as forced by current social and political climates.
Author: Lindsey Joyce

Abstract

While digital interactive narrative games are invariably narrative, there are two key distinctions between traditional text-based narratives and digital interactive narrative games that affect how the latter are constructed and how we experience them: 1) in interactive narratives the narrator agent and character agent of text-based narratives are collapsed into a singular player agent, 2) in digital interactive narrative games, spatial construction is of a higher order of importance than in text-based narratives, and it is through this shift that player agency and interactivity are created.

In: Culture at Play: How Video Games Influence and Replicate Our World
Author: Marta Tymińska

Abstract

The status of the player within the game is still a subject of multidisciplinary research, and it changes along with videogame industry, the platforms, genres and particular titles. The most recognisable and interesting form of in-game presence are avatars: the visual (and sometimes auditory) representation of players. Avatars are said to create culture, influence human behaviour and change the way one performs as a player. Avatars, their look and agency, also influence players outside the game environment and be used therapeutically. Avatars can influence not only the gamers’ behaviour but can also empower them; solving in-game problems can help players transport causative feelings into their lives. This paper will focus on the results of an interdisciplinary questionnaire conducted among Polish gamers who experience various levels of social exclusion due to their gender, size, and/or socio-economic status. To compare, similar research was conducted among groups of males not threatened by either social exclusion nor discrimination. The study shows what aspects of avatars help with stress management and what mechanisms of avatar-gamer relations empower, enrich and influence behaviour.

In: Culture at Play: How Video Games Influence and Replicate Our World
Authors: Peter Freer and Robin Skinner

Abstract

‘Is your masculinity threatened? Then you're not man enough to play’, the tagline for Adult Swim’s 2010 game Robot Unicorn Attack, boldly captures the challenge the game offers. Robot Unicorn Attack (rua) confronts the player’s personal boundaries through its use of intentionally feminised visual material and the use of the gay club anthem ‘Always’ by Erasure. By comparison, its sequel, Robot Unicorn Attack 2 developed three years later, was forged under circumstances that fundamentally changed the trajectory of the game and franchise. This paper highlights how the fan reception of the original game altered the context under which the sequel was made, and how concepts of gender and choice informed the sequel’s design development.

In: Culture at Play: How Video Games Influence and Replicate Our World