Benjamin Weiner
Ruhr-University Bochum
Mercator Research Group
"Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge"
Universitaetsstr. 150
44801 Bochum

Room: FNO 01/132
Phone: +49-(0)234- 32 27623
Fax: +49-(0)234- 32 14744
E-Mail: Benjamin Weiner

Benjamin Weiner

Landscapes of videogaming (abstract PhD Thesis)

Starting from the assumption that the phenomenon of media harm is multiple (Mol), I will in my PhD thesis focus on the domain of violent videogaming, and how it is shaped by and through the socio-material practices in relation to gaming practices itself, but also through its various infrastructural entanglements (Bowker & Star). In order to assess various possibilities of figurating ‘in situ’, I will carry out ethnographic fieldwork in special field sites. Although studies do exist that approach the topos of media harm from different disciplinary angles (media, education, politics, law e.g.), some of them also using ethnomethodological tools, most studies considerably limit the potentials for exploration of this phenomenon prior to empirical studies by defining media harm in advance, studying effects in isolation, looking for fixed causal relationships or trying to domesticate it through a normative arguing. In contrast to this and, due to our interest in the ongoing process of gaming itself, we will pay attention not only to the obvious results, but will pay special attention to alternative possibilities and virtualities, that exceed the actual as participants in a joint production of visible and invisble. The way tensions between the actual ordering and possible other orderings (Verran) will reveal in our study, might determine the variable and contingent outlook (design) of what we call affective landscapes of videogaming. The PhD thesis will be supervised by Estrid Sørensen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum).