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What Is an Ecological Game?

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)

Abstract

This chapter asks what a truly ecological game looks like. It begins by considering the ecological resonances present in the terms used to describe certain kinds of environmental relationships in games. Considering the survival-crafting genre, often held up as a paragon of environmental interactions, the chapter examines the conventions of this genre and examines their implications, reevaluating their resemblance to environmental and ecological notions. Despite presenting bucolic natural environments and dynamics the chapter argues that these games are suffused with economic dynamics and the logic of capitalist accumulation. It argues for extending the ecological thought to encompass the context of game production and the sites of play that form the material conditions of gaming, concluding that the truly ecological game must be aware of and actively mitigate the harms involved in its own production, from carbon emission to plastics and rare earth metals.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-91705-0_3
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Acknowledgments

Parts of Chap. 3 have appeared in Trace: A Journal of Writing, Media and Ecology.

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Correspondence to Benjamin J. Abraham .

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Abraham, B.J. (2022). What Is an Ecological Game?. In: Digital Games After Climate Change. Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-91705-0_3

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