Events Calendar

Playing Videogames Their Own Way

Thursday, March 9, 2023
4:30 pm
FIMS and Nursing Building (FNB)
Room: 4130

"Playing Videogames Their Own Way: Disability, Industry, and Non-Normative Play(ers)"

Presenter: Juan Escobar-Lamanna, PhD candidate, Media Studies – FIMS, Western University.

Attend in person: FNB 4130
Attend online: Zoom link


This fields examination explores the intersection of videogames, their surrounding industry, disability, and normative forms of media use. Despite videogames being an extremely popular media, videogame and disability studies have had minimal direct influence on one another. What limited academic literature does exist on the intersection of gaming and disability typically addresses how videogames can be used as assistive medical tools for people with disabilities. Utilizing a critical  disability lens and building upon scholars who locate the creation of dis/ability in capitalist social and media norms, I argue that developer-intended modes of videogame play and the videogame industry at large enforce and perpetuate ablebodied positionalities as normative within capitalist – and therefore disabling – socioeconomic contexts. Additionally, I argue that videogames can simultaneously act as important sites of cultural intervention against normative media uses. Through a consideration of scholarship on non-normative videogame play, which I define as actively rejecting normalized developerintended modes of play, I argue that videogames and their players can dismantle harmful and disabling notions of ‘normal’ play and the ‘normal’ player.

This lecture is part of the Mediations Lecture Series.

Faculty of Information and Media Studies
FIMS Communications

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software