SAGE Publications Ltd: Convergence: Table of Contents Table of Contents for Convergence. List of articles from both the latest and ahead of print issues.
- Playing with history in World of Tanks: Negotiated readings, historical realism and cultural memorypor Natalie Jonckheere el septiembre 30, 2022 a las 9:45 am
Convergence, Ahead of Print. <br/>This study focuses on United States-based players of World of Tanks, a historical battle arena game that features many playable tanks based on their actual historical origins, mostly from the World War II and postwar eras. Through a partnership with the game’s developer Wargaming.net, we conducted interviews with 20 players of World of Tanks who indicated that they are interested in history generally or military history specifically. Our findings indicate that playing World of Tanks is one dimension of a broader spectrum of interacting with history as a kind of leisure activity. Players put history in service of their own interests and recreational enjoyment, while acknowledging that historical accuracy is a moving target that must be balanced with elements that shape gameplay structure, competitive potential, and player agency. This study contributes to scholarship on the experiences and motivations of people who play historical games, situates interest in historical games within a broader array of history-related leisure, offers insights for historical game developers interested in players’ cultural and social context, and notes the limitations of games to teach about the past.
- Postcyberpunk dystopian cityscape and emotion artificial intelligence: A spatio-cognitive analysis of posthuman representation in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)por Nashwa Elyamany el septiembre 24, 2022 a las 6:46 am
Convergence, Ahead of Print. <br/>Within visual culture, postcyberpunk films are best approached as places of Otherness whereby human identity and agency are downplayed and posthumans are magnified in highly technopolic societies marked with scientific determinism. Postcyberpunk treats the posthuman enclave as a heterotopic site, oscillating between utopian and dystopian spaces, potentially and optimistically, creating a space for humanity to be reassessed and renegotiated. Against this backdrop, the current research endeavor proposes a Spatio-Cognitive Model of Posthuman Representation focusing attention on heterotopic ‘spaces’ and ‘bodies’ in hyperconnected environments. While the model owes a substantial debt to Foucault’s writings on heterotopia and the utopian body, in tilting the focus of enquiry, this paper is informed by the tenets of polyrhythmia, hypermimesis, spatial repertoires, semiotic assemblages and cognitive embodiment as insightful interventions. Blade Runner 2049 is taken as a fertile case study grounded in paradoxes and ambiguities around the contradiction between humans and replicants, artificial intelligence and super-large enterprises. The hybridity pertinent to the postcyberpunk film genre and the inner and outer topographies of posthuman representation proved to be insightful investigative vantage points of multimodal inquiry for the socio-political and technocratic implications they underlie. With technology seamlessly integrated into social spaces and posthuman bodies, Blade Runner 2049 is arguably structured as an emotional journey composed of multiple heterotopias (spatial layers, ruptures and bifurcations expressed through socio-political capitalist projections). The article adamantly argues for new philosophical perspectives and praxis in redefinition of the social relationship between human and posthuman.
- Deep state phobia: Narrative convergence in coronavirus conspiracism on Instagrampor Marc Tuters el septiembre 17, 2022 a las 1:07 am
Convergence, Volume 28, Issue 4, Page 1214-1238, August 2022. <br/>Recent scholarship has established that conspiracist narratives proliferated in mainstream online discourse during the coronavirus pandemic. This proliferation has been provocatively characterized as a ‘conspiracy singularity’ in which previously divergent conspiracy narratives converged into a single, overarching narrative. Yet while the idea of narrative convergence has long figured in conspiracy theory research, empirical evidence has been scarce. The present article aims to address this gap by means of an investigation of an archive containing over 470,000 conspiracy-related Instagram posts from 2020. Given the size and conceptual complexity of the dataset, the paper introduces a ‘digital hermeneutics’ approach, which combines data science methods with qualitative interpretation and theorization. Operating across three levels of observation (hashtag analysis, text analysis, and image analysis) we identify patterns of convergence among different conspiracy narratives (including anti-vax, QAnon, anti-5G, and ‘The Great Reset’) over the year 2020 as well as the apparent role of protagonists and antagonists (notably Donald Trump and Bill Gates) in creating connections. In interpreting these findings we focus on the concept of ‘the Deep State’ as a bridge between various conspiracist narratives, which seems to cut diagonally across political ideologies.
- Framing digital disconnection: Problem definitions, values, and actions among digital detox organiserspor Trine Syvertsen el septiembre 15, 2022 a las 3:15 am
Convergence, Ahead of Print. <br/>Most studies approach digital disconnection from an individualistic perspective, while this article explores organised efforts to facilitate digital detox experiences. The aim is to contribute a nuanced understanding of how offline initiatives are framed and the complex relationship between individual and collective action. The study is based on qualitative interviews with ten organisers representing different initiatives and supplementary material from mass and digital media. The analysis shows how actions are triggered by personal experiences and respond to specific concerns within domains such as work and education, tourism and leisure, arts, culture and religion. Yet, the initiatives also invoke overlapping moral evaluations. The study reveals a joint scepticism concerning the lack of industry responsibility and little faith in regulatory solutions to the problem of intrusive media. Furthermore, the study discusses digital detox initiatives as an ambiguous form of contemporary activism, spanning from self-help to corporate action. The initiatives are not connected, but participants perceive their actions as part of an emerging trend. Nevertheless, few initiatives contribute to an interpretation of disconnection initiatives as anything more than unique experiences. The article contributes to the extant literature by showing how the meaning of disconnection evolves both in local settings and in dialogue with broader concerns in the public sphere.
- Digital hostility, subjectivity and ethics: Theorising the disruption of identity in instances of mass online abuse and hate speechpor Rob Cover el septiembre 14, 2022 a las 7:37 am
Convergence, Ahead of Print. <br/>The experience of hostility, hate speech and adversarial behaviour in everyday online spaces has increased substantially in recent years, with known health and mental health outcomes for users. This paper argues that due to the ‘massified’ form of contemporary hostility experienced in the internet ‘pile on’, a new framework for understanding and remedying hostility is required. This paper draws on Judith Butler’s theories of identity to present an account of digital hostility as cultural and as having a negative effect on the identities and selfhood of users. It discusses the impact of the online pile-on, shaming and the ways in which hostility positions victims as ungrievable subjects. The essay recommends new ethical approaches grounded in the recognition of subjects as vulnerable, arguing that cultural ethics approaches are valuable not only as public pedagogies but for development of technological solutions and moderation interventions to help prevent hostility and hate speech.