Author Topic: CMW IV: Playing with Monsters and Monstrosity Keynote Video  (Read 707 times)


  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 35795
  • Karma: 140
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
CMW IV: Playing with Monsters and Monstrosity Keynote Video
« on: March 21, 2024, 01:38:08 PM »

In fantasy worlds, notions of humanity and monstrosity are often fraught. This keynote examines the operation of monstrosity in medievalist fantasy texts as inherently shaped by its medievalist context, and by the ways in which games and play can disrupt our usual understanding of monstrosity and abjection. The monstrous is produced by a subversion or refusal of normative categories – something becomes perceived as monstrous when it cannot be understood or incorporated into a worldview. This works in harmony with the enabling flexibility of medievalism – the medieval is able to be so diversely utilised because it is never fully knowable (though some users also disregard very knowable aspects out of convenience), just like the monstrous. However, in a game with rules, and especially one with win conditions, this potential to unsettle boundaries is often dispelled by game mechanics that render the world into knowable components. This keynote talk will draw on my research on monstrous hags in fantasy games, as well as the ideas discussed at the workshop, to consider the relationship between game systems and the disruptive potential of medievalism and monstrosity when it comes to dnormative boundaries and Othered outsiders.

Tess Watterson (tesswatty) is an early career researcher who specialises in medievalism and experiential learning. She received her PhD from the University of Adelaide for a thesis on witchcraft, gender, and persecution in medievalist fantasy video games. Her earlier work focused on medievalism and militainment in Robin Hood video games, including her Masters of Research thesis completed at Macquarie University. Tess aims to contribute to expanding pedagogical approaches for engaging with the past through experience and play, including in her current role as Special Collections & Experiential Learning Coordinator at the Library of the University of New South Wales.
The session chair was Madeline Sterns (TheLichQueen). Madeline is a mediaeval and early modern art historian and game studies academic with interests in materiality and reception. She is currently a part-time instructor at Front Range Community College in Colorado (USA) teaching Humanities courses including Film Art and World Mythology with contemporary media applications.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2024, 04:16:56 PM by Jubal »
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...