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ERIC Number: EJ1138061
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
"A New Life in the Countryside Awaits": Interactive Lessons in the Rural Utopia in "Farming" Simulation Games
Cole, Matthew; Stewart, Kate
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v38 n3 p402-415 2017
This paper critically analyses the legitimation of exploitative human-nonhuman animal relations in online "farming" simulation games, especially the game Hay Day. The analysis contributes to a wider project of critical analyses of popular culture representations of nonhuman animals. The paper argues that legitimation is effected in Hay Day and cognate games through: the construction of idyllic rural utopias in gameplay, imagery, and soundscape; the depiction of anthropomorphized nonhumans who are complicit in their own subjection; the suppression of references to suffering, death, and sexual reproduction among "farmed" animals; and the colonialist transmission of Western norms of nonhuman animal use and food practices among the global audience of players. Hay Day thereby resonates with the wider cultural legitimation of nonhuman animal exploitation through establishing emotional connections with idealized representations of nonhuman animals at the same time as they inhibit the development of awareness and empathy about the exploitation of real nonhuman animals.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A