Digital Deviance/Digital Compliance: Criminology, Social Interaction, and the Videogame

Project Details


This project seeks to scope out and develop criminological perspectives on videogames and the social worlds of videogames and gamers. Its starting orientation is social interactionism and the understanding of videogames as meaningful and affective places and spaces of interaction, presence, and ‘being’. This orientation sees videogames as potential spaces of cultural expression, symbolic representation, meaning-making, and identification; as interactive spaces of (real and imagined) participation and collaboration; and as ‘social worlds’ which participants inhabit and in which they exercise (some) agency in negotiating their deviance and compliance. These digital social worlds are part of the fabric of everyday experience for many people who already drift continuously between presence across different facets of the digital technoscape (including internet, social media and gaming) and the analogue world, potentially finding meaning, connection and identification across them all. This project thus situates the study of videogames and videogaming within traditions of social interactionism and the sociology of deviance, but will also contribute directly to more recent developments in the field exploring the importance and effects (and affects) of representational forms, symbols, and cultural narratives, such as within visual, cultural and narrative criminologies. In relation to videogames themselves, the project aims to be open-minded and not restrictive about what will be included. For example, although ‘crime’ features within many videogames as a dimension of the narrative, action, or game world, many games do not feature ‘crime’ but feature, or can be played in ways, that signify deviance or compliance. Therefore, the project will not restrict itself to the study of ‘crime games’, or any particular category of games, but will remain open to the diverse forms that videogames take (in terms of subject matter, genre, platform etc.).
Effective start/end date30/01/2331/07/23


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