The camouflage of play: how transnational entertainment industries are reconfiguring the iconography of gambling products

12/12/2018 (Thursday) 15:00-16:00 E21B-4028

While there is a flourishing academic literature in video-gaming studies, much of the literature in gambling studies is produced in the psy-sciences and dedicated to understanding and addressing regulatory challenges associated with problem gambling. As a consequence, the role of visual iconography, narrative and soundscapes in constructing offline and online cultural spaces of gambling has often been neglected. Our research addresses this gap at a moment when gambling products are increasingly connected to everyday online and offline spaces of socialising, work and recreation. Critically engaging with established and recent theories of mimesis and play, we explore synergies between transnational gambling, entertainment and social media industries. After highlighting the role of iconography in promoting gambling to players embedded within interactive and algorithmic forms of consumption, we tease out some implications of our research for broader theories of communication and new media.

Dr Fiona Nicoll is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta where she holds a research chair in gambling policy in the Department of Political Science.   The author of Diggers to Drag Queens: Configurations of Twentieth Century National Identity (Pluto Press, 2001) and founding member of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association, she is co-editor of Transnational Whiteness Matters (Lexington Press, 2008) and Courting Blakness: Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University (University of Queensland Press, 2015). In addition to numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on gambling she he has published extensively on reconciliation, Indigenous sovereignty and whiteness in the Australian context.  She is currently completing a book that will be published by Routledge next year titled Gambling in Everyday Life: Spaces, Moments and Products of Enjoyment.