The American arcade sanitization crusade and the amusement arcade action group

Book chapter


Meades, A. 2019. The American arcade sanitization crusade and the amusement arcade action group. in: Jørgensen, K. and Karlsen, F. (ed.) Transgression in Games and Play MIT Press.
AuthorsMeades, A.
EditorsJørgensen, K. and Karlsen, F.
Abstract

Transgressive play can be understood as activity found at odds with societal attitudes, expectations and norms of play. This chapter traces the ways that attitudes towards transgressive and appropriate play in the US shifted during the 1980s as the result of moral enterprise, the ways that this impacted upon practices of public and private play, and the ways in which this was culturally relative. Throughout the 1980s public videogame play in the US was subject to sustained popular attack, whereby practices were critically compared to norms and expectations, and as a result were regulated, censured and changed, representing an idealization of play. The character of appropriate public videogame play changed: it became configured as an almost entirely benign activity for children, generally unsuitable for adolescent or adult participation. At the same time private videogame play developed as an activity – playing on consoles and computers within the confines of the home – which, although also framed as largely childish and benign, existed beyond the scrutiny of the public body and became a possible location for the continuation of adolescent and adult videogame play. These changes occurred in North America, however, other countries, such as the UK, that also witnessed the arrival of home and arcade videogames, did not feel the same need to contest and challenge the notion of public play. These were territories where people did not feel that public videogame play represented anything especially transgressive, and in so doing, highlight the cultural and historic specificity of the identification of transgression, whether playful or otherwise.

Year2019
Book titleTransgression in Games and Play
PublisherMIT Press
Output statusPublished
ISBN9780262038652
Publication dates
Print05 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Jan 2017
Submitted23 Oct 2016
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