Date & Time
2 March 5 p.m. (Pacific Time UTC-8 hours)
3 March 9 a.m. (Hong Kong/Singapore UTC+8 hours)
Speaker: Dr. Tara Fickle, David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor of English, University of Oregon
Topic: Playing like an Asian: Race, Masculinity, and Athleticism in esports Moderator
This talk analyzes esports through the lens of race, gender, and nationality. East Asian players continue to profoundly dominate today’s global esports scene, even while the video games that they excel at are largely American-made. The drama and the profitability of this global virtual competition depends on a potent set of fantasies about race, gender, national identity, and ideal “sportsmanship.” Esports both interrupts and reproduces stereotypes of Asian and Asian American men as unathletic, nerdy, “cheap,” hyper-competitive Others. This talk argues that the continued success of global esports ultimately depends on a toxic set of “mini-games” which bring together old and new modes of inter-racial competition, ideas of masculinity and athleticism, and American nationalism against the backdrop of a rising China.
Moderator: Professor Patrick Williams, Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Tara Fickle is David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar and Associate Professor of English at the University of Oregon. She is Affiliated Faculty of the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies, the Center for the Study of Women in Society, and the Center for Asian & Pacific Studies. Her first book, The Race Card: From Gaming Technologies to Model Minorities, (NYU Press, 2019, winner of Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award), explores how games have been used to establish and combat Asian and Asian American racial stereotypes. Fickle’s current research projects include the racialized dimensions of esports, virtual currency harvesting in video games, and a digital archive of the canonical Asian American anthology, Aiiieeeee! More information can be found at tarafickle.com.
Patrick Williams (PhD) is Associate Professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His primary areas of research are culture and identity, wherein he splits his time between the study of subcultural identity and authenticity on the one hand, and game-related experiences and identities on the other. Among his many publications, he has authored and edited several books on culture, identity and/or games, including Gaming as Culture: Essays in Social Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games(2006), Subcultural Theory: Traditions and Concepts(2011), and Studies on the Social Construction of Identity and Authenticity (2020). His current research focuses on the significance of DIY culture and identity in the growth of esports in Singapore.