Aaron Trammell | Keywords in Play, Episode 12

“Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association.

This episode we talk with Aaron Trammell about challenging canonical thinkers, race, torture and TTRPGs, with special reference to his open-access piece “Torture, Play and the Black Experience.” Aaron is Assistant Professor of Informatics and Core Faculty in Visual Studies at UC Irvine. He writes about how Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and board games inform the lived experiences of their players. Specifically, he is interested in how these games further values of white privilege and hegemonic masculinity in geek culture. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Analog Game Studies and the Multimedia editor of Sounding Out! You can get in touch at trammell [at] uci [dot] edu

As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture.

Please consider supporting Critical Distance at https://www.patreon.com/critdistance

Critical Distance is a community-supported project. Support us on Patreon, and join the discussion on Discord!

Production Team: Darshana Jayemanne, Zoyander Street, Emilie Reed.

Audio Direction and Engineering: Damian Stewart

Double Bass: Aaron Stewart

Darshana: You’re listening to Keywords in Play, an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association.
As a joint venture, Keywords in Play expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

Darshana: Aaron Trammell, thank you very much for being here. Could you please introduce yourself in your own words?

Aaron: Hi, I’m Aaron Trammell. I’m a media scholar, a critical race scholar and a games studies scholar, in no particular order. The thing that I focus on when I research games tends to be histories of games, analogue games, which are games that are non-digital, and ways that games intersect and interpolate identity, which is I think a big part of my research is thinking about the subjective experience of playing games and how people from different identity positions, negotiate that.

Darshana: One of the reasons that we’ve kind of like got you on and are really interested talk to you is a recent article that you’ve just published in ‘Game: The Italian Journal of Game Studies’. In that article, you’ve really challenged the way that a number of key theorists have construed play in a positive light, if we could put it that way. A lot of them are writers who you might often find on the reading list of game studies courses. Could you outline some of the ideas that you’re critical of? And how you feel that they’ve been influential over how we think about play?

Aaron: Oh, thank you. That’s a great question. So, play theory, distinct from game studies. Right? So, I think this is one of the first moves to consider for the, the listening audience is that in game studies we have a canon of games scholars, who tend to look into the formal and/or representational characteristics of games. Whereas in play studies, there’s a history of people and researchers looking at the phenomenology of play, what it means to play, how we play, and what that play is productive of. And so, in this, this article, instead of looking at game scholars who often draw on this research on the phenomenology of play to make certain points, I was looking at this phenomenology of play, and asking myself, is this phenomenology play racialized in any particular way? Or are there other experiences that might complicate a phenomenology of play, that came mostly from a sort of canon of white European scholarship? So, that was kind of the impetus for the project. And so, going back into it, some of my research looking at folks like Johan Huizinga, the Dutch art historian, and who wrote one of the very earliest books on play ‘Homo Ludens’; Roger Caillois, a French sociologist who critiques that book, but also, comes up with his own meta-theory of play. Jean Piaget, the French psychologists who looked at the phenomenology of play as something that is constructive and constructivist. In fact, that’s one of the places constructivism comes from, it’s his work. I was struck by some of the assumptions that these articles made about play. And in my article, from a philosophical standpoint, I was kind of trying to investigate the tautologies, you know, the limits space of these arguments to see if there was any contradictions, and then trying to think through this contradictions and wondering to myself like, well, are they overstepping anything? Are there any mistakes that are being made, here? Were these contradictions by reveal something new about the phenomenology of play. And so, in the article, I get to this eventually, one of the big arguments that make in the article is that torture is in fact a form of play. But to get there, it’s a more complicated road, but it’s kind of worth walking through. So, one of the very first moves to kind of make to get there is to consider how play is characterized as what these philosophers and writers call a civilizing function. So, what they often do is characterize play as something that is civilizing. By play, we work towards an idea of presumably, Western civilization, as opposed to barbarism which is what is seen as outside play or outside of this space’s of play, by these theorists and scholars. The problem with this discourse is that when we look at play as a civilizing function, right, this falls into like the sort of like old racist anthropological tropes that set the West and Western culture, Western civilization against, you know, Orient, and Occidental and exotic cultures and in other spots, specifically places also, like Black culture, right? I’m Black and so, thinking about this and its relationship to like characterization of people who play in Africa, right, who, in some instances in this early scholarship, are seen as barbaric is troubling, offensive, really problematic in some ways. I think that’s the first move to think about, is think about, like, what is this play scholarship doing? And then how is that play scholarship that’s happening is really moment interpolating and/or racializing people as it does that. Now, I want to put a brief caveat here, because there’s a really fascinating article, I think that get some of these really play scholars off the hook a little Mathias Fuchs, has a great article called ‘Ludo Archaeology’ that I think is super interesting. And in it, he contextualizes ‘Homo Ludens’, as a book that’s being written against the grain during World War Two, he gets into some early bits and scraps of Huizinga’s writing, he talks about how Huizinga even wanted to revise some parts of his thesis, but didn’t get it into the books. And the argument he makes is that, you know, one of the reason that play was being pitted against the barbaric here was cus not only is there this history of sort of Western civilization against other parts of the world, other darker parts of civilization, there’s also, this notion that Huizinga might have been writing, thinking about the rise of Nazi Germany at the time, and with the camps and all the things that they were doing. Also, akin to barbarism, there might have been some good reasons to be resisting something like barbarism at the same time. But I think we can hold these things in both hands, I think there can be some promise to Homo Ludens that we might want to reclaim. Or as I think there’s some obvious, obvious problems with the text that we might want to get rid of stuff. I think that that’s the first move to think about when thinking through how to reclaim or rethink through some of these early canonical theories of play. And then I’m just going to take another second to take one last step, theoretically here, and that is to move into the next space. So, I think what this, this idea that play is civilizing does, right, is it provides people an idea of play that is based on a phenomenology of pleasure. So, play is civilizing because play is pleasurable. And this goes back way further than Huizinga, Caillois, Piaget. For example, I believe it was, John Locke had some writing on play and in this writing, it was like, used as a sort of carrot at the end of the stick to trick children into learning. So, this was because it was pleasurable, right, like, children want to play. So, if you, you trick them into playing, they’ll play and they’ll learn. And so, this is an old notion of play that’s been around for a long time, play and pleasure. But I think that when it gets theorized as pleasure and civilization working together, you can hook it into things like leisure, you can hook it into things like capitalist society, which Roger Caillois does. And you can hook it into things like learning, very explicitly learning which Jean Piaget does, right, like to say that when you play, you’re actually doing this learning. And this is just part of the human engine of how we are, how we assimilate and associate different things in the world. So, I think that we get the story around planned pleasure that really comes through. Particularly the sort of like fraud appropriative dynamics of play, where we see it as a sort of colonial project. And we can take a step and ask ourselves, right, when we’re thinking about affects, there’s a lot of work being done in affect theory around ‘Brown affect’ around affects of People of Colour, you can get José Muñoz’s work, ‘Feeling Brown’, you can look at Sarah Ahmed’s work on ‘The Feminist Killjoy’. How there’s this whole sort of subversive reading of affect that suggests to us that, you know, in addition to thinking about play, or affect as just being pleasurable. We can also, think about affects of pain, and how important it is, especially for People of Colour to ground their experiences in both affects of pleasure and affects of pain. And so, I think there’s some space there in that, that rupture or that rift to bring in these other perspectives of play. But the first thing it really involves and requires is a rethinking of the basic assumption that play is civilising. Recognizing that might be fraud and recognizing then that if we rethink the play, maybe some things that, that civilizing project, like colonial project that play invokes, might not be the only things that are play. And when we let in other kinds of play into the narrative, we let in other voices too.

Darshana: In some ways, what you’re saying about balance, it’s like, you’re being critical of some of the foundational theorists, so-called foundational, I guess, of play, as they are deployed in various game studies scenarios. And this positive notion of play, which is both free play, but also, disciplinary, also, kind of like forming subjects. One of the ways that you go about that in the article is you criticize this kind of voluntary idea of entering the game, entering the magic circle, in a knowing kind of way, and consenting to these rules that you find in there. And that’s what constitutes play. That’s what constitutes the game. Clearly, that can be critiqued along a number of ways, which we’ll come to. But in terms of theory, one of the ways that you go about this is, you argue this is a bit of a sanitized viewpoint. In fact, if we, if we look, we can see instances in which play involves uninformed or unwilling participants. And that results not in a relationship between knowing subjects, but the creation of a subject/object relation, or one that produces what you call following Miguel Sicart’s ‘play objects’.

Aaron: Yeah. So, let’s start with history here. Because I think that this is an argument that’s easier made with examples. Before we get into this notion of voluntarism and some sort of questions I have around voluntarism. So, the example using the paper that you have is a game that comes from Antebellum, United States, Antebellum is post-Civil War, United States era, and the game is called ‘Hide the switch’. And it’s this really brutal upsetting game that historians for a long time were (presumably many white historians, by the way), were very puzzled by and in hide the switch, right? You know, slave children would play this. And the idea was that someone would hide a switch, which is a kind of a flog or a whip and basically, the children would go searching for it, and when one children was able to find it, they’d be able to whip the other children with it. Right?! And so, this is upsetting, brutal in all these ways because here you have, you know, people who are literally living in captivity, oppressed in these variety of ways, attacking each other with the very same implement that has been used to subjugate and discipline them. And yet, it is also, a game. And yet it is also, play. I feel like when we have an idea that play is voluntary. It takes away from games like that, it erases games like that, because I can’t understand a context where someone would volunteer to play a game like that or the very least where someone volunteer to play a game like that to the very end, where the brutal pain of flagellation, you know, right, like, is being experienced. And so, I think that’s a good example that speaks against it in one of its most sort of, like horrific and troubling forms, but also, speaks to the way discipline, right, and apparatuses, that discipline also, discipline our bodies, discipline our subjectivities, discipline, our worldviews and a variety of ways to normalize and experience things that, that otherwise, we wouldn’t. So, I think that’s part of the story, right? Like it’s historical games like ‘hide the switch’ that had been erased mostly from understandings of play. That this, this Western canon of play theorists think through. But let’s think of some other examples to kind of get in there. That might be a little more common and every day. So, the first one I think about is ‘Tickle Torture’, because first of all, torture is in the title of ‘Tickle Torture’. So, I think it’s important that we talk about tickle torture. And I do think that there’s a sort of like ‘edge play/limit play’ that happens and tickle torture, that’s not necessarily completely consensual. I don’t think people ask during ‘Tickle Torture, can I tickle you? Or if they do, I think it’s a facetious ask, but then it’s followed by tickles. Now, this is also, torture. This is also, torturous for the person getting tickled that hard. We don’t see it as painful. But I think it does bring in that question of consent in the same way. When do we draw consent around the boundary of the game and when do we not draw consent around the boundary of the game. I think that’s the second example, I would bring up just as a way to kind of start walking us back into more normal zone of play, in forms of play that we might experience in our everyday life. And then the third one that I would bring into the conversation is ‘Tag’, because in tag, right, I think in the very vocabulary of tag, we have a game where when we start playing it, we are actually labelling other people ‘It’. This is something that often we take for granted. But it makes the point very perfectly, right? When you tag somebody and you say you’re in, you’re actually turning them into an object, they didn’t ask to be ‘it’ part of the game is to not become ‘it’. But you are interpolating them as a player of the game and as a player, who’s ‘it’. And, you know, there can be some discomfort also, when you play tag with somebody, who’s not playing, as ‘it’, and I’ve done this at conferences, it was a very bad thought experiment. People don’t like it. But if you tag somebody, and they don’t want to be playing the game, and you say ‘it’, this, this whole question gets invoked, are they playing the game at that moment? I would argue they are. Because they’re playing the game of the person who tagged them. They might be the spoilsport and say, I won’t play this game. But you’ve pulled them into that game right there. And you’ve said you are ‘it’! And so, I think when you have a game like that, when you have an example of a game, where consent is being negotiated through the objects of language, there, you can see that play isn’t necessarily consensual. And it actually puts somebody who might be trying to resist play, right, by saying, I’m gonna undermine this, I’m going to subvert this, I won’t play into an awkward position, right, that of the spoilsport. An important thing about the spoilsport there, is that the spoilsport is part of the play of the game. They’re not outside of the game, they decide not to play, and they’re part of the game world. So, I think that that kind of makes that point where it’s not necessarily voluntary. So, capping that, this little segment on like whether or not play is voluntary or not off, in some of my unpublished and more recent writing on the topic, I’ve actually been thinking about a different vocabulary to put on top of play in these instances. And I think it’s actually a vocabulary of policing that might be interesting, right? So, moving from Miguel Sicart’s kind of work on play as being, what if instead of play as being we look at play as captivity, that when we are playing, we are captured, we’re caught up, captivated, captured, and, you know, part of kind of play’s embrace for better or worse. And I think, you know, then you can get into the sort of more disciplinary language for what play is doing right? Play is policing. Play is a sort of thing that is, you know, watching the players in the game state and making sure they don’t leave this space of captivity, right, though at one point had been theorized as positive in so, many ways. And so, I think the language of captivity, capture and policing are sort of like terms that I might offer that speak to the less than voluntary kind of notions of play, and also, open up the concept to a wider variety of experiences that Black, Indigenous and People of Colour worldwide, might face experiencing play. Now, I just want to kind of, before we move on to the next question, address one small critique of this, because I, it often happens, and I want to make my thoughts clear on it in no uncertain terms. And I think that there is a tendency of people to hear this sort of idea, right? This, this sort of phenomenology, this Black phenomenology of play that wants to bring in things like torture, say they’re play. I think there’s a tendency to hear that and think that part of this project is making light of something like torture. Making light of these really brutal conditions that people worldwide experience. And to that point, I just want to say, I think that actually, this is quite the opposite. I think it’s trying to understand play in a deeper sense, and understand how play, in some ways participates in the erasure of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, how it’s been presently theorized exclusion of people from its space because of how it’s presently theorized, also, just digging deeper into this, this concept that play might be painful. I think it’s also, important to recognize that even though there’s, for many people play is like this happy object, this one sacred cow, this one sacred space that they can always go to, to be happy. The research and the phenomenology on the topic shows that it’s actually not that for a lot of people, a lot of people don’t enjoy playing when they’re pulled into games that they don’t think they want to play. And we even have a vocabulary for that, right? Like you’re playing with me, stop playing with me, you’re playing games, there’s songs ‘playing games with my heart’, right?! And so, there’s this whole story about play that we know, that’s part of the experience that we have as people across the world, where play’s more of a fraught concept than a positive concept. And so, the strange thing actually, is that in play scholarship, and in a lot of the work on play, focus has been overwhelmingly on the positive phenomenology of play, the pleasurable phenomenology of play, and not the painful phenomenology of play. And I just want to make space to have the other half of the conversation, because I don’t think we can do meaningful work on the pleasurable until we also do meaningful work on the pain.

Darshana: Yeah, and that distinction between entering voluntarily making play a relation between subjects that pre-exist, and thinking about actually how it makes objects of certain people, or like certain subject positions, or creating those relations, is what allows you to move from some very historical examples of this kind of more critical view of play that you, you talk about, to the contemporary situation, and ideas around toxicity in play in online gaming, for example, and the technological kind of forms of play that we see now. Can you talk a bit more about how you make that kind of bridge? And what examples have been particularly important, there?

Aaron: Yeah. So, I always think about like 2015, as the year that game studies broke in so, many ways. I mean, I like to play with language. So, when I say broke, in a lot of ways it means stream and publics that weren’t game studies, namely Gamergate. But also, I think there was a sort of breaking of games to these by Gamergate, that happened that made a lot of us work in the field at the time, those of us in the notorious fishbowl, fundamentally reevaluate some of our notions of what play is and what games are. And so, to your point, which is like how do we connect this sort of moment of toxicity in games that’s occurring presently, to this deeper history of play pleasure and pain? You know, I think that this is a pretty intuitive leap to make at that point, cus if you see play as being painful, first of all, it makes some of the early critiques of Gamergate make much more sense as being part of this early colonial project, right. So, you have like, Huizinga’s work, which is trying specifically to make play a civilized space, a place of pleasure. And then you get these conversations that happen amongst the early ‘gaters’, you know, directed with venom against someone like Zoë Quinn, one of the very original targets of Gamergate makes so, much sense, right? Cus she’s like, I’m going to review a game called ‘Depression Quest’, I’m going to look at these, these different affects that games and play might provoke. And people are mad at, you know, the sort of like, person who has been cultivated to think through games and play only through the lens of pleasure, and only through the lens of leisure, is legitimately having something taken from them. And no, I’m not going to back their opinion. But I do think it’s important to understand, right, like, that experience of having one’s worldview fundamentally undermined by another thing in the world is an upsetting and really distressing thing. And so, you know, for a lot of people who had been socialized within this dialog, this colonial project, that games are pleasurable that we ought to play games because there are escape, or refuge from life, experiencing games and games that don’t really play into that dialogue so clearly. I think was a really distressing point that that led them to then go on and enact violence, symbolic violence, sometimes physical violence in a variety of ways against people who wanted to, to enjoy and support those games and can stand behind those games. So, I think that’s one way to think about this, this side of the story, right, like how to bring into sort of like conversation between, around toxicity online today.

Darshana: Let’s go a bit wider here, and kind of test some of the limits of what you’re theoretically talking about. There’s so much provenance in so-called analogue games, and that’s been part of like, what you have paid a lot of attention to. And you’ve written about recent controversies about race, and the analogue game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. What is your point of view, on the way that Wizards of the Coast which is a major kind of company acting in this space, has tried to deal with questions of race which seem to be kind of baked into Dungeons and Dragons in quite a deep way? Do you see this as ratifying this critique of positive notions of play? Or would you use a different conceptual kind of like, way of coming at this, this question?

Aaron: So, exciting. Okay, now, now we’re talking about games that I really know about and understand. So, not only does Wizards of the Coast published Dungeons and Dragons, but they also publish Magic the Gathering and in both instances, there have been examples of Wizards the Coast, rethinking the way that they position, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in the artwork of the games they produce, and in the narratives of the games that they produce. And this is come on the heels of a good deal of fan pushback, which makes actually this conversation a little more difficult because I don’t want to appear like I’m taking sides on this conversation, cus I think that the fans who have pushed to have better representation in the games they play, have a really great point and still a really great point that they’re making. But I also, do think that Wizards of the Coast has been responding to some extent, to the sort of fan pressure. And I think that’s good. So, I like it when I see companies respond to fan pressure, that I think pushes the product in a direction that is more comfortable for me to play with. So, that’s, that’s kind of just my position on what Wizards the Coast is and does as a company. But specifically, what we have is a game where the fans for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into it, but it starts with Pathfinder, it goes up through Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition and then it goes throughout fifth edition, where more and more Wizards of the Coast kind of listens to this BIPOC coalition of fans that are interested in having a more diverse game to play, and they start pulling into the artwork, but by foregrounding, that by foregrounding difference in race by telling people in the rules, it’s okay to play against this stereotype of your race that we’ve presented here. And even, recently they’ve come up with this supplement, I’m gonna get the name wrong, I think it’s ‘Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything’, where you can totally redistribute the stats that every race has. So, if you’re a dwarf, and you don’t want to play a dwarf that has constitution plus two, you can play a dwarf that has charisma plus two or dexterity plus two or something else. There’s rules now to modify the dwarf to have any set of characteristics that move beyond the stereotype that the base game comes in with. So, on a procedural level, the game itself is trying to open up for representations that are more diverse and trying to recognize that some of the ways that it’s stereotyped and typecast, these fantasy races had ramifications for the way that people saw themselves in the game and playing the game. So, they’re kind of moving beyond that. And also, within the design of the pictures, you know, there’s different representations, more representations of People of Colour, in the pages of the different manuals, especially the player’s handbook, where they really went out of their way to kind of try to produce a plethora of different skin tones and body shapes in the handbook. So, I think that they’re really kind of aware of that and trying to focus in on how this is a maneuver that helps the fans, helps people see themselves more within the game than they may have in the past. Now, just kind of circling back to the sort of question and conversation of what does this mean for play that ought to be pleasurable, and ought to be painful? I would say, you know, this is the kind of classic fans studies in a way and industries listening to fans in this sort of like symbiotic loop. So, I think that’s airing on the pleasurable, so, I don’t I, you know, when I look at that within the sort of like Black phenomenology of play, I don’t actually think that that would be looking at play as a painful phenomena. I actually think it’s consumerism feeding off of itself in its own cycle, which it wants to be pleasurable, right? Cus we know what plays and games, pleasurable media are the media that sell. And so, that’s kind of part of the loop of this company wants to build into the sale of these games, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad, right? I think that as a Person of Colour, as a Black person I want to play games that are pleasurable as well as painful. And there are different routes to understanding how erasure happens, right and addressing questions of representation in games, broadening that field of representation in games is an important way to make space for people who didn’t see themselves in a hobby or in a game visible and have more buy-in there. So, I’d say we have games that really bring in sort of phenomenology of pain, instead of pleasure, or games like Julia Bond Ellingboe’s ‘Steal Away Jordan’, we have a great article about it in ‘Analog Game Studies’ where Kent Jones interviews Julia Bond Ellingboe about the game and Steal Away Jordan is a game about being a slave in America. And players often relate confusion and discomfort with occupying this role. So, there’s a great example of a game designer, Black game designer, bringing in the sort of affects of pain instead of pleasure into the game to do. Another great example is Mike Pondsmith ‘Cyberpunk’ franchise, right, which just spawned ‘Cyberpunk 2077’. And in ‘Cyberpunk’, Mike Pondsmith was one of the very first Black role-playing game designers ‘Cyberpunk’, the original one came out in the late 80s. And in ‘Cyberpunk’, some of the critiques that Pondsmith gets over the game, are some of the ways that different gangs on the street are represented, for example, there’s a gang called the animals and they do animalistic things they act in, you know, in a very brutal ways. And people were complaining that this sort of like gang that had many People of Colour in it was being portrayed as animals in this game. I kind of thought Pondsmith’s response was a little brilliant in this way. So, first of all, he pointed out that it was up to the animals to determine how that they identified. So, it wasn’t that other people were calling them animals, they were self-identifying as animals in this world. So, that was important to him. But also, he had a really explicit sort of laid in response for he said, like, “Who the fuck do you think you are telling me how to design my game?” Right?! And I think that really kind of gets into that sort of zone, where this sort of like design manoeuvres that someone find difficult, but some might find painful, then become the sort of like way to police, a Black game designer, and the art that a Black game designer is making, and say, well, this doesn’t fit in what we expect the game to be. And I think that’s actually where you see these sort of tensions of the painful emerging in the game design space, right, like around policing, around censoring the kinds of games that might not be pleasurable for all audiences to play. And again, just to cap that off, right. This is a point of discussion. This is a point of discourse. Just because something’s not pleasurable, it’s just because something’s painful, doesn’t mean that we ought to embrace the painful, but we ought to recognize it for what it is and talk about it.

Darshana: So, in kind of like taking into account this more complex view of play, we can identify moments of resistance and kind of complexity that we might miss, in the more sort of positivistic kind of ideas that you’re critiquing. Incredibly fascinating! So, Aaron Trammell, thank you so much for talking to us. Where can folks find out more about your work? And what’s coming up for you?

Aaron: Okay, so, excitingly, I updated my website this year, so I had like this five-year-old, outdated website up for many years. So, if you’ve checked in, you’re like, oh, man, I have no idea what Aaron’s doing because he doesn’t update his website. It’s been updated, and I plan to keep updating it. So, check out aarontrammell.com, I tried to put my writing there so that people can download it and check it out. Also, you can follow me on Twitter, it’s @AaronTram [A a r o n T r a m], that’s a good place to see what I’m doing. And also, please, with ‘Analog Game Studies’, the journal which I edit, we publish on a quarterly basis, so that’s about four issues a year. We try to do one in March, we try to do one in June, we try to do one in September, and we try to do one in December. So, I wouldn’t say you can follow me at ‘Analog Game Studies’. You can follow the journal on our Twitter, but please check in because we have a lot of great work that expresses a lot of the values I believe in coming out of the journal. So, I’d love it if our authors got more fans and more reads to their articles. So, yeah, thank you for an awesome interview. This was a pleasure to, to kind of dive deep into my brain and to talk extemporaneously like 10 minutes, a clip. So, thank you for hosting me and being so, generous with your time.

Darshana: Not at all, like super, super glad to have you on.

Darshana: We hope you have enjoyed this episode of Keywords in Play. For more great ideas around games check out criticaldistance.com. Or take a dive into the DiGRA archives at DiGRA.org.