Game Anchor

How do games journalists talk about gamming. Taking a leaf out of Swidler’s and Couldry’s idea that some media practices order or anchor other practices I think we can see that, as Swidler argues, there are two ways we organise things around ‘gaming’.

1. By linking a whole bunch of practices under the broader umbrella term of ‘gaming’. (eg: pwning someone, modding, user-generated content, etc).
2. But every once and a while there’s a gaming practice that causes a ‘dynamic change’ that reformulates what we though gaming was, and it changes the context in which you can claim and perform a gamer identity. Examples of this might be the impact of the Columbine shooting and the moral panic around gamer culture, and stigma associated with calling oneself a gammer as the media image of gaming became dominated with first-person-shooter images and links to that shooting.

There are still as many different ways to talk about gaming and do gaming, but certain associations have become priviledged in these contexts. There was an ordering of other cultural practices around gaming. “Oh you’re a gamer – you must be into first-person-shooters, do you need counselling”, etc …

I’m wondering if there have been any recent gaming anchors, eg: some new terms taken under the umbrella of gaming (new terms to discuss trophy collecting on the PS3?), or larger shifts in gaming practice caused by a ‘dynamic change’ practice (Little Big Planet and the IPR/copyright crackdown by Sony putting a dent in user generated content enthusiasm).

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