162. Decolonial, Colonial, and Indigenous Imaginaries in Games of Sea, Sky, and Land

Nicole Winchester, York University; Shelbey Walker, York University; Nyle Sky Kauweloa, University of Hawaiʻi; Karanbir Jallo, York University;

While game studies has begun to acknowledge postcolonial and decolonial theory, the sociotechnical basis of games is rooted in colonial and imperial imaginaries. Trammell (2022) argues that game studies' fundamental theories of play are likewise racist and colonial. In-game conceptions of sea (kai), sky (lani), and land ('aina) seem subject to the same doctrine of discovery as reality; Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020) is just one example of terra nullius exhibited in a cute resource management game. Sea, sky, and land are simply there to be occupied, mined, developed, and abandoned once the game - or the player - is done. These colonial concepts are embedded in the hegemony of play (Fron et al., 2007). As scholars from settler colonial societies that parallel this exploitation and the oppression of Hawaiian peoples, we seek to create a space where scholars can expand conversations about how the natural environment is imagined, represented, and envisioned in games, who and what can 'take space' in games, and what that means in our realities and to our futures. We encourage papers that investigate: - Decolonial, colonial, and Indigenous sociotechnical imaginaries in games - Their representation of and/or relationship with sea, sky, and land - How games imagine a better relationship with the natural world - Implications of colonization in games - Experiencing empathy toward nature and its gifts in games - Effects of limitless natural resources and 'seasonless' farming Other perspectives on postcolonialism, decolonialism, colonialism, imperialism, games, or the conference theme are also welcome.

Contact: nktw@yorku.ca, skwalker@yorku.ca, nsk@hawaii.edu, jallo@yorku.ca

Keywords: Decolonial and Postcolonial STS, Indigenous STS, Environmental/Multispecies Studies, Game Studies

Published: 04/07/2023