University of Delaware Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures Faculty Research Workshop The "Poisonous PlayStation": Political Posturing and the Productive Potential of Video Games in Latin America Dr. Phillip Penix-Tadsen Assistant Professor of Spanish Thursday, March 15, 12:30-1:30 pm Jastak-Burgess 201 The talk will be in English. Come learn about your colleague’s research in an informal and congenial setting. This is a Brown-Bag Event—feel free to bring lunch! This talk explores the ways video games have affected contemporary Latin American culture, as well as the ways Latin American culture has been portrayed in games. More often than not, video games enter into broader cultural discourse only when their controversial subject matter makes for sensationalistic headlines or serves the purposes of existing agendas, be they political or intellectual. However, cultural simulations in games are becoming ever more complex, and the extent of their influence over contemporary culture is rapidly expanding, suggesting that there is a need to approach the subject with greater respect and nuance than we have generally seen. This talk will contextualize the critical and methodological approaches to game studies within the field of Latin American cultural studies; discuss the political controversies that have arisen surrounding games set in Venezuela, Cuba, and Mexico in recent years; and finally develop a preliminary taxonomy of Latin American cultural simulations in video games, based on three categories that encapsulate existing portrayals of the region and its people: Contras, Tomb Raiders, and Luchadores. Please RSVP to Dorie Galloway by March 9. Graduate students are always welcome!