Introduction: Mapping China’s Digital Gaming Culture
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This chapter introduces the concept of topography as a conceptual tool for thinking about the interplay of affect and discourse in framing digital gaming culture in the popular imagination. Topography builds upon Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s concept of texture, drawing attention to the complexity of individual agency as it operates within larger frameworks of dominant discourse and collective affect. Additionally, the introduction lays out the methodological approach of the book, which pays particular attention to the historical, cultural, and political contexts that shape popular engagement with and understanding of digital media in China. Such a complex project is accomplished through the introduction of situational analysis, a research methodology that draws insights from symbolic interactionism, multisited ethnography, and grounded theory to emphasize differences of perspective in the social/cultural production of knowledge.