GloUH: Gaming Virtual Bodies: Video Games in South Asian Cities

24 Oct, 2016

GloUH: Gaming Virtual Bodies: Video Games in South Asian Cities

Global Urban Humanities' "Cities and Bodies" series hosts Irene Chien, BCNM alumna, to speak on moving through South Asian cities both within video games and while playing and producing such experiences. She will talk about her field research exploring the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, which is the backdrop for some video games. Because of its low-cost technical labor pool, the city is also a production site for games set in other cities and played around the world.

Chien is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media & Communication at Muhlenberg College. She teaches and writes about the politics of race and gender in video games, digital media, and film. She is writing a book manuscript based on her dissertation titled Programmed Moves: Race and Embodiment in Fighting and Dancing Videogames. Programmed Moves examines the intertwined history and transnational circulation of two major videogame genres, martial arts fighting games and rhythm dancing games. Dr. Chien argues that fighting and dancing games point to a key dynamic in videogame play: the programming of the body into the algorithmic logic of the game, a logic that increasingly organizes the informatic structure of everyday work and leisure in a globally interconnected information economy. She explores how games make bodily habituation to new forms of digital technology both intelligible and pleasurable by investing players in familiar racial, sexual, and national identifications.

Cities and Bodies is an Global Urban Humanities interdisciplinary colloquium with Susan Moffat. An important goal of the colloquium is to provide a gathering place where people from different disciplines can learn about each other’s work on global cities. It examines methods of studying cities from different disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, architecture, city planning, journalism, literature, media studies, performance studies and urban design. In this wide-ranging colloquium, speakers from a variety of disciplines will offer perspectives on urban form and experience that are rooted in diverse and sometimes hybrid methodologies.

We're so thrilled to have Irene back in town to share her amazing research!

Read more about the event and Global Urban Humanities here.