The Race Card: From Gaming Technologies to Model Minorities


Product Details

New York University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.9 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Tara Fickle is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Oregon and an affiliated faculty in Ethnic Studies, the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, and the New Media & Culture certificate.


Revealing the orientalist origins of game studies and locating the very tenants of game theory in Japanese internment, Tara Fickle engages racialization as game-play itself. In doing so, Fickle explodes our understanding of economic survival and success by revealing the centrality of gambling rhetoric--and a willingness for risk-taking--in the appraisal of Japanese Americans as the ultimate model minority. An original and timely intervention that at last accounts for the dominant representation of Asian Americans as both the hard-worker and the obsessed gamer.--Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, author of Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media
Revealing the mutual constitution of gaming and racialization, The Race Card's concept of 'ludo-Orientalism' offers a significant new way of understanding the historical discourse of Asian exclusionism, as well as more subtle forms of post-1960s anti-Asian racism. Focusing on representations of Asian Americans as pathological players, Fickle shows how racial discourse is linked to the speculative logic of American exceptionalism.--Colleen Lye, author of America's Asia: Racial Reform and American Literature, 1893-1945
Games of chance, video games, and game theory converge in this examination of the relationship between gamification and racialization in exploring the Asian American experience. ... argues that games are used as a form of soft power geared toward advancing an exclusionary view of national identity.-- "CHOICE"
Fickle brilliantly illuminates the many facets of games as a rich site of potentiality for thinking about Asian and Asian American identity, and how they co-constitute parts of the same problem. The Race Card is both a scathing excoriation of the Orientalist roots of the study of play and games, and an intellectual framing of games as a critical access point for understanding power relations concerning constructions of Asian identity. Witty, controlled, righteously outraged, inspired and incredibly persuasive, The Race Cardsets a new bar for understanding the role of games and play, broadly defined, in the struggle of race relations.--Soraya Murray "American Literary History"