Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


May 18, 2017

5a7 – Settling Minecraft: Tactics and strategies at the player frontier

TAG is proud to invite you for a series of 5 a 7 showcasing its stellar members’ ongoing research.

Communication Studies PhD student Nic Watson will be presenting a portion of his ongoing dissertation research into the culture of Minecraft modders and modding practices.

Many of the gameplay and modding practices now considered to be canonical aspects of Minecraft actually coalesced out of early, messy, tactical attempts by fans to stretch the procedural and representational powers of the game software. Drawing on Michel de Certeau’s notions of tactic and strategy, this presentation explores how practices that began as opportunistic negotiations of the ever-changing Minecraft possibility space came to be adopted by the commercial developer and player-base alike as strategies delineating “proper” use of the game, to be re-imposed as a form of discipline through both code and discourse.

Complicating a straightforward reading of the tactic/strategy binary is the fact that player tactics are always in the process of becoming strategies, while at the same time maintaining a rhetorical pretense of being tactical, organic, and agile. A frontier settler metaphor is used to summarize the system of practices and the relationships between them: players who “settle” the Minecraft terrain apply outward-looking tactics to navigate the untamed possibility space ahead, while imposing inward-facing strategies cement their claim over the explored territory behind.

☆ You are cordially invited to come and mingle. ☆

Invite your colleagues to TAG along (!). Attendees are welcomed to bring snacks and drinks to their liking.

WHEN? Thursday, May 18th, 5-7pm
WHERE? TAG Lab (Concordia, EV 11.435, 1515 Ste. Catherine W.)
WHO? Everyone is welcomed!
WHAT? Cutting edge new media research