I SET MY GAMES ON FIRE: A Ludoarsonist’s Guide to World-Ending, Emulation, and Burning Games

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The mission of the Games and Gaming Round Table is to provide the following:
  • A forum for the exchange of ideas and concerns surrounding games in libraries;
  • Resources to the library community to support the building and maintaining of library game collections;
  • A force for initiating and supporting game programming in libraries;
  • Create an awareness of, and need for, the support of the value of gaming and play in libraries, schools, and related learning communities.
  • Create an awareness of the value of games and gaming in library outreach and community engagement plans.
  • A professional and social forum for networking among librarians and non-librarians interested in games and gaming.
When:  Dec 15, 2023 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (CT)

The end of gaming is upon us! Reactionary game fandoms are filled with doomsayers who claim that gaming faces annihilation from certain annihilation from woke culture, casualization, and queer protagonists. In this talk, media scholar and self-described ludoarsonist PS Berge (they/she) will discuss the importance of burning games and why the end of gaming might be something to celebrate. In the first part of this talk, she will analyze self-immolating games that burn away paper, plastic, characters, stories, and the table to show how play can be found in ending the (game)world. Yet to burn a game also carries another definition; in the second part of this talk, PS will discuss the (often legally dubious) duplication and modification of the game via lasers, toner, software, and hardware. Emulators, ROM hacks, .iso files, cracked copies, xeroxes, mods, and fangames all extend the ludoarsonist’s toolkit. Through burning, we can end gaming—and save play. By playing with fire, we can become doombringers that (un)make worlds and games alike. 🔥🎲

PS Berge (they/she) is a media scholar, game designer, and the director of the Discord Academic Research Community. Their research falls at the intersection trans game studies (especially tabletop roleplaying games and gaming fandoms) and feminist platform studies (specifically toxic technoculture and cross-platform dynamics). Her published research can be found in or is forthcoming at Game Studies, New Media & Society, JCMS, and Games & Culture and their games can be found at gravesnail.itch.io. Website: psberge.com

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Danielle Costello