Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/3478
Title: Re-presenting the Black Gamer : a practice-based exploration of the representation of people, bodies and communities of colour in selected video games
Authors: Zindela, Luyanda 
Issue Date: Feb-2019
Abstract: This study uses my art practice to explore and critique stereotypical and violent representations of people, bodies and communities of colour in selected video games. I draw from the work of selected artists, Eva and Franco Mattes as well as Joseph Delappe, who use their art practice to address and unsettle stereotypical and violent video game representations. This study also draws from the work of Kishonna L Gray, who centres her critique of stereotypical and violent representations of people of colour in video games around her own experiences as a gamer of colour. Due to my art practice being at the centre of this study, this study thus adopts a practice based research methodology with an emergent design.
Literature suggests that despite having evolved significantly due to rapid advances in computer technology, video games are still often sites where well-trodden tropes and stereotypes in the representation of the racialised other continue to be reproduced and reinforced as the ‘norm’ (Sisler 2008, Leonard 2003, Conditt 2015, Gray 2014). People, bodies and communities of colour represented in the selected video games are often reduced through in-game narrative or gameplay to exotic sites for lustful desire, consumption or violent subjugation (Brock 2011, Sisler 2008, Leonard 2003, Conditt 2015, Gray 2014).
This study argues that stereotypical portrayals of people, bodies and communities of colour in video games are often informed by dominant social constructions of race and hierarchal racial difference: often presented by their creators as ‘authentic’ virtual recreations of the real world. Racial stereotypes in video games perpetuate the socially constructed myth that hierarchal racial difference is a naturally occurring phenomenon, permanently fixed and imbedded in nature. This study challenges this myth on the premise that race is not naturally fixed but socially constructed.
Drawing from the work of the selected artists as well as my own experiences as a black South African artist and gamer, my art practice challenges various visual/audial representations of hierarchal racial difference in the selected video games. My art practice recontextualises these video game representations, re-presenting them through my lens as a black South African gamer. This research resulted in a body of work, exhibited in partial fulfilment of the Master’s Degree in Fine Art.
Description: Submitted in partial submission of the requirements for the Master’s Degree in Fine Art, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa. 2019.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/3478
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Arts and Design)

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