Woke gaming : digital challenges to oppression and social injustice / edited by Kishonna L. Gray and David J. Leonard.

by Gray, Kishonna L [editor.]Looking glass; Leonard, David J [editor.]Looking glass.

Publisher: Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2018]Description: xiii, 306 pages : illustrations (black and white) ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780295744179.Subject(s): Sex in video gamesLooking glass | Video games -- Moral and ethical aspects | Video games -- Social aspectsLooking glass | Violence in video gamesLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan London College of Communication
Main collection
Printed books 794.8 GRA (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Issued 10/01/2022 54203254
Long loan London College of Fashion
Main collection
Printed books 794.8 GRA (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Issued 10/01/2022 54255872
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

From #Gamergate to the 2016 election, to the daily experiences of marginalized perspectives, gaming is entangled with mainstream cultures of systematic exploitation and oppression. Whether visible in the persistent color line that shapes the production, dissemination, and legitimization of dominant stereotypes within the industry itself, or in the dehumanizing representations often found within game spaces, many video games perpetuate injustice and mirror the inequities and violence that permeate society as a whole.

Drawing from groundbreaking research on counter and oppositional gaming and from popular games such as World of Warcraft and Tomb Raider , Woke Gaming examines resistance to problematic spaces of violence, discrimination, and microaggressions in gaming culture. The contributors of these essays seek to identify strategies to detox gaming culture and orient players and gamers toward progressive ends. From Anna Anthropy's Keep Me Occupied to Momo Pixel's Hair Nah , video games can reveal the power and potential for marginalized communities to resist, and otherwise challenge dehumanizing representations inside and outside of game spaces.

In a moment of #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, and efforts to transform current political realities, Woke Gaming illustrates the power and potential of video games to foster change and become a catalyst for social justice.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. xi)
  • Introduction: Not a Post-Racism and Post-Misogyny Promised Land: Video Games as Instruments of (In)Justice (p. 3)
  • Part 1 Ethics, Violence, And Oppositional Gaming
  • Chapter 1 The Corporeal Ethics of Gaming: Vulnerability, Mobility, and Social Gaming (p. 27)
  • Chapter 2 Power, Violence, and the Mask: Representations of Criminal Subjectivities in Grand Theft Auto Online (p. 45)
  • Part 2 Economics Of Gaming
  • Chapter 3 The Post-Feminist Politics of the "Everyone Can Make Games Movement" (p. 65)
  • Chapter 4 Smart Play: Social Stereotypes, Identity Building, and Counter Narratives of Gold Farmers in China (p. 82)
  • Part 3 Feminist Gaming
  • Chapter 5 The Sobering Reality of Sexism in the Video Game Industry (p. 101)
  • Chapter 6 The Perpetual Crusade: Rise of the Tomb Raider, Religious Extremism, and the Problem of Empire (p. 119)
  • Chapter 7 Nancy Drew and the Case of Girl Games (p. 139)
  • Chapter 8 The Horrors of Transcendent Knowledge: A Feminist-Epistemological Approach to Video Games (p. 155)
  • Part 4 Gaming Against The Grain
  • Chapter 9 Playing with Pride: Claiming Space Through Community Building in World of Warcraft (p. 175)
  • Chapter 10 Curate Your Culture: A Call for Social Justice-Oriented Game Development and Community Management (p. 193)
  • Chapter 11 The Legends of Zelda: Fan Challenges to Dominant Video Game Narratives (p. 213)
  • Part 5 Empathetic And Inclusive Gaming
  • Chapter 12 Avatars: Addressing Racism and Racialized Address (p. 231)
  • Chapter 13 Activism in Video Games: A New Voice for Social Change (p. 252)
  • Chapter 14 DiscrimiNation: A Persuasive Board Game to Challenge Discriminatory Justifications and Prejudices (p. 270)
  • List of Contributors (p. 293)
  • Index (p. 296)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Gray (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) and Leonard (Washington State Univ.) have assembled a courageous chorus of voices that challenge an industry emblematic of some of the most insidiously oppressive structures in American society. Contributors emphasize areas in which both the gaming industry and the larger society could be more introspective and proactive, particularly as they pertain to the popular culture representations and treatment of historically marginalized groups such as people of color, women, and LGBTQ individuals. Under major sections that include "Economics of Gaming," "Feminist Gaming," and "Empathetic and Inclusive Gaming," this collection challenges the reader to probe the complex social forces undergirding the gaming industry and broader society. Of particular significance is Anderson-Barkley and Fogleson's essay about activism in video games as an example of the contributors' deep desire to confront and repair established forms of discrimination that manifest in popular culture. The authors' articulated vision of the "potential of video games as instruments of change" captures the collection's essence: to rectify recognized collective transgressions and to lay a discursive foundation for more equitable and humane spaces. A must-read for scholars and students in fandom studies, popular culture and media studies, critical and cultural studies, communication, and sociology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates and above. --Wilfredo Alvarez, Southern Connecticut State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Kishonna L. Gray is assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live: Theoretical Perspectives from the Virtual Margins and a featured blogger and podcaster with Not Your Mama's Gamer.
David J. Leonard is a professor at Washington State University, Pullman, and the author of several books, including Playing While White: Privilege and Power on and off the Field. Follow him on Twitter @drdavidjleonard.