Anyone out there doing some research on videogame players as a sub-culture? Using a little Dick Hebdige or Sarah Thornton? I’m getting set to do some work on that and it would be nice to see what someone else has done on it.

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  1. meredith

    I’m not using Hebdige and Thornton for videogame subcultures, as you know, but I am trying to work through whether (mainstream) girl culture counts as a subculture, and I’m reading towards that. I have some questions that you’re probably working through, too, and I’d be interested in what you (and others) have to say. First, what’s at stake in claiming subcultural status? (I think you’ve asked this one before here.) Second, what’s at claim in claiming mainstream status? Is there a mainstream any more? Is there an overriding “culture” of which someone can be a sub-culture? I think I have to figure this out before I can dissertate.

  2. meredith

    Ah! I forgot to say that you might be interested in reading Angela McRobbie’s work on subcultures. She does a nice critique of Hebdige, mostly on its whiteness and boyness. While I know that your work also pretty much deals with white boys, McRobbie also mentions that Hebdige’s work pre-supposes that most male subcultures will be a) public and b) very performative. You can ID members of a subculture by sight, becuase they perform membership in a number of visual ways. I would think that gamers would be a much less visually driven subculture — how can you tell them from other people marked as generically “geeky” or “nerdy?” (I say this as a geeky nerd myself, so no offence intended) Hopefully this helps. I don’t have the specific article with me right now, but I’d be happy to supply titles.

  3. bryan young

    yes, I really do wonder what we get from taking up teh subculture lable. So what? Who cares if it is a subculture? What is at stake by using that term. It often seems as if it is simply academic justification. “Here I will envoke the term subculture to sound academic and therefore make it so I am not ashamed of talking about something I like.”

    As far as the identifying thing goes. That is something that I’ve wrestled with for a couple eyars now. So I am still asking, are videogame players, specifically LAN party goers subcultures?
    I gues someone should write a paper about it or soemthing…

    thanks for the post!

  4. meredith

    Hey, no problem. Maybe it’s up to us to re-evaluate what’s at stake in using the label subculture. The Birmingham school used the term to justify their study of working-class youth, and both of us are pretty much staying within the realm of middle-to upper-middle class people. Can you *be* in a subculture then? (I’d say yes…) But really, what does the subculture label give us other than academic justification? (And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing… In fact, it can be a good thing for a dissertation!)