As I mentioned in my pieces on the Silverstring Agenda, I used that term as a catch-all for the SJW web that’s currently trying to influence the trajectory of the video game industry. But, the intellectual basis for the movement actually comes from an ogranization of academics known as the Digital Games Research Association, or DiGRA. We mentioned in the first Silverstring piece about how this was a crucial element of the web, since it functions as an organizing tool, and the well from which they draw their anti-gamer rhetoric. Think of it like a Washington think tank, except it has chapters all over the world, and a ton of members.
Until now, we haven’t known much about DiGRA’s backers, but we know at least one. That would be the Nokia Research Center, which, of course, is backed by Nokia itself. I’m tempted to say that they run the whole thing, because DiGRA.org is registered to Nokia, and every single academic paper I saw on the DiGRA site had “Nokia Research Center” stamped beneath the byline. Speaking of bylines, here’s one from out good friend Greg Costikyan. Here’s a screen of his paper from the 2005 DiGRA conference:
I guess this explains the unhinged rant he published in Gamasutra (it was deleted, but here’s a link) a couple weeks back. Maybe he was afraid we were on to something? I’m not sure how closely he’s still involved in DiGRA, but perhaps all the digging has him spooked. The essay is relatively inoffensive, although there are several undertones than can be read as a call to change transform the business away from AAA games that cost a lot to develop. Killing AAA’s. Who does that remind you of?
But, you don’t have to look any further than the current head of DiGRA to see what the real mission is all about. Here’s Mia Consalvo, in her own words:
So what can feminist media studies offer? How can scholars interested in videogames and gamer culture as well as the equal treatment of women in this space make a contribution? I believe this is an opportunity to demonstrate the usefulness of research and particularly how it can help to give us a firm foundation on which to stand in…
The mission is clear, but the backers and web is still murky. I wanted to go ahead and publish what I have, in the hopes that others can do some digging on the financial end. We do know that Nokia is their main benefactor, but there are perhaps other corporations involved. We all just have to keep digging for more connections, and follow the money.