Welcome to the Sociology of Video games, a blog at the intersection of Sociology and Video Games.
Hey, why should I care?
Good question! Video games are emerging as staples in our everyday lives. Each year more Americans are playing games and as result we’re seeing video games make their way into aspects of our society that we never would have guessed they’d become apart of. From uses in medical rehabilitation to interviewing potential clients for a job, video games are being utilized in new and innovative ways each year.
But why Sociology, why not media studies or psychology?
Video Games are an immersive experience unlike any other form of media; they have the ability to connect us to people across the world, move us with amazing storytelling, and influence the way we look at the world. As such, video games shouldn’t be limited to one academic discipline; each field has their own questions and concerns when evaluating the medium. Through sociology we can view video games as products of society that represent and mirror the societal changes we see in our on going lives. Not only that, but we can observe how video games are creating social change themselves, be it in the way they contribute to our socialization or in the way they enable us to communicate with others. Video games are emerging along side the internet as the most important societal change in our generation, and as a result we new to adopt new analytical lens to view and study them.
Who are you to write about all of this?
You got a point there. My name is Ian Larson, a gamer and sociologist. I received my B.A at the University California, Berkeley, and my Masters of Sociology at San Diego State University. I am currently pursuing my PhD at the University of California, Irvine in the Informatics Department. My current research centers on class inequality in the medium, the reproduction of hegemonic norms in the gaming community, and expanding video game history to be more inclusive of communities at the gaming margins. If you want to know more, you can check out my CV right here. What you won’t find on my CV is that I received my education in gaming on a spot of carpet I rarely moved from for years.
A Few of My Recent Publications
Larson, Ian. 2022. Privileging the Past: Problematic and Gendered Rhetoric in Retrogaming Content. In FDG ’22: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG22). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 23, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1145/3555858.3555861
Grace, T., Larson, I.R., Salen-Tekinbas, K. 2022. Policies of Misconduct: A Content Analysis of Codes of Conduct for Online Multiplayer Games. CHI-Play Proceedings. https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3549513
Larson, Ian. 2022. The Bootleg Connection: Micro Genius and the Transnational Circulation of Early Clone Consoles. ROMchip. 4(1) https://romchip.org/index.php/romchip-journal/article/view/143
Cullen, A. L., Scully-Blaker, R., Larson, I. R., Brewster, K., Aceae, R. R., & Dunkel, W. (2022). Game studies, futurity, and necessity (or the game studies regarded as still to come). Critical Studies in Media Communication, 1-10. doi.org/10.1080/15295036.2022.2080845
Larson, Ian. 2021. Remaking Legitimacy in Final Fantasy VII. First Person Scholar. http://www.firstpersonscholar.com/remaking-legitimacy-in-final-fantasy-vii/
How Can I Get Involved?
The sociology of video games is still an emerging emphasis in sociology and as need additional voices! I’m happy to post or repost articles that are relevant to the field so please send them my way. Blog, write, discuss!
How Can I Contact You?
Drop me a comment on the blog or send me over a message. If you have an idea for a blog post, or would even like to contribute something yourself, please let me know! You can also tweet me at @Socialvideogame. Please, no carrier pigeons.