China’s Many Internets: Participation and Sites of Digital Game Play Across a Changing Technology Landscape 29 May, 2010
Presenter: Marcella Szablewicz
Date: Saturday 29 May, 2010
Venue: Xindanwei, 4C, Bld 4 in Shanghai Hub No. 727 Dingxi Lu, Changning
Silvia Lindtner and Marcella Szablewicz have conducted ethnographic research on digital gaming practices in urban China over the last 6 years. Digital games are not only inherently participatory but are also one of the most popular forms of Internet technology in China today, and as such they are particularly illustrative examples of relations between technological practice and social and economic change in China more broadly. Lindtner and Szablewicz’s research reveals how urban youths and young professionals in China utilize digital games to position themselves and form new identities amidst urban China’s rapid economic and technological transformations. Two main points emerge: First, digital participation is not confined within a single software application, but is a contingent process evolving in relation to wider social, economic and political developments in China. Second, digital games in China are a means by which young Chinese engage with and express ideas about social belonging, identity and class.
Marcella Szablewicz is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Language, Literature and Communication at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is spending the year in Shanghai on a U.S. Fulbright Fellow and is working as a visiting scholar at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.