A Special Radio Transmission: “Academic Critics” and Discursive Hegemony

Hello, dear readers. This week’s post is a little bit different, because it’s coming to you in magical ☁MiXcLoUd☁ form. This is a first, very haphazard and casual attempt at a podcast hosted by critic and game designer Zolani Stewart and me. By haphazard, I mean we did this at 3 a.m. on my couch while my cat ran up and down the hallway (you can probably hear her somewhere in the middle). By casual, I mean there’s no real rhyme scheme here.

Zolani and I shoot the shit, using Brendan Keogh’s flagship piece at the new, open-access Journal of Games Criticism as a launchpad to talk about things like kyriarchy within both games academia and the games industry, the role of the critic and the hegemony of discourse within games. We take a structuralist view of the concept of formal purity, which Keogh critiques in his piece as being a dangerous preoccupation of games studies academics. We consider the future of “close readings” and subjective relationships to games, the necessity of outsider voices to the broadening of games discourse, and steps that we can take to prevent the reconstitution of hegemonic power structures in this new age of “cyborgian,” outsider academic game critics and developers.