Abstract

ABSTRACT:

The particular pathways by which natural models show up in games remain largely invisible and undertheorized. If models shape what is knowable and which actions can be taken, how might a closer attention to modeling—specifically, natural modeling in the worlds of digital games—encourage us to reevaluate our relationships to electronic artifacts and the biosphere? Drawing on work in data justice and digital modeling, this essay reflects on whether existing modeling resources, such as popular digital asset libraries, largely replicate the anthropocentric and cultural biases of the people that make them. A brief examination of player modification practices and two projects, Wao Kanaka and the Taiwan Digital Asset Library, suggests ways that games can include greater ecological and cultural variability while broadening access to the tools and practices of asset creation.

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