Placemaking with Videogames

Authors: Madison Marquer*, University of Wyoming
Topics: Cultural Geography, Recreational and Sport Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: place, viedogames, relationality, cyberspace, human geography, DoTA 2
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Calvert Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Contemporary human geographers tend to use the term “place” for making sense of interactions that converge over space and time to invest meaning in a location. The progression of technological advancements in the twenty first century demands a conceptualization of place that is adequate for geographical work in and about digital platforms. Contributions to the literature in contemporary human geography on “relationality” offer some foundational resources for such work, but literature on the topic is often at a loss in the face of a problematic physical-digital dualism that informs much of the popular and scholarly commentary on cyberspace. This presentation makes a modest contribution to correct this shortcoming by examining the construction of place through DoTA 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2, a popular video game). This paper notes a mutually constitutive relation between physical space and cyberspace. By scrutinizing place in a virtual setting, the presentation suggests directions for reconceptualizing place in geographical scholarship to come. The paper promotes sustained engagement with relays in the digital-physical reality out of which places are shaped. Through the spatial practices channeled by video game platforms like DoTA 2, what is currently defined as “place” is being transformed.

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