This talk will examine the potential affinities between ecology and environmental science and digital interactive games. Although video games and the platforms that run them seem woefully remote from the concerns of the outside world, contemporary games may offer quantitatively and qualitatively distinctive opportunities for the representation of pressing environmental problems. Touching on both commercial titles like Spore and No Man’s Sky and academically developed games like Future Delta and AirQuest, I will argue that games not only meld the computational advantages of programming-driven processes with the aesthetic range of literature and cinema, but more importantly render environmental outcomes and ethics into powerfully playable scenarios.
Professor Chang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara (Ph.D. Rhetoric, UC Berkeley). With a multidisciplinary background in biology, literature, and film, she combines ecocritical theory with the analysis of contemporary media. Her current project, Playing Nature, offers an ecological perspective on computer and video games. She also maintains the Growing Games blog, a resource for scholars in game and ecomedia studies and the environmental humanities.
Alenda Y. Chang
Department of Film and Media Studies
2018 Social Sciences and Media Studies Building
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4010