White Masculinity, Creative Desires, and Production Ideology in Video Game Development

Bulut, Ergin
Games and Culture

Game workers have a problem. They code values and ideologies into games, but they are either not aware of it or deny it. Through a constructive and critical engagement with Games of Empire, I propose the concept of “ludic religiosity” to reveal how white masculinity informs game workers’ professional discourses, technological practices, ludic desires, and imaginations. Drawing on three-year-long ethnographic research and in conversation with cultural studies, philosophy of technology, and postcolonial game studies, I revisit desiring machine and ideology, two major concepts from Games of Empire. My goal is to demonstrate the racialized and gendered discourses and practices behind game developers’ desire to produce cognitive capitalism’s “escapist” commodities and rethink ideology within white masculine production cultures. Foregrounding how racialized and gendered practices and imaginations inform the desire behind the global game industry is crucial, especially in the aftermath of Gamergate and the rise of authoritarianism.