About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6560-6570
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1545

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

THE DARK SIDE OF PRODUSAGE – CONCENTRATION AND DEATH CAMPS AS USER-GENERATED CONTENT FOR THE GAME PRISON ARCHITECT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MEDIA ETHICS AND MEDIA PEDAGOGY

P. Maisenhölder

University of Education Ludwigsburg (GERMANY)
While the possibility to produce and distribute media contents with little financial resources and just a few competences – the so-called produsage (Bruns 2009) - can generally be seen as a good thing because it enables theoretically and ideally every person to participate in and influence the public discourse, one also has to say that it can bring problematic phenomena with it. They have to do with the fact that non-professional creators of media content are not restricted and controlled in the same ways as professional creators of media and media representatives are (Rath 2010; 2014).

The phenomenon of produsage, i.e. the blurring of the difference between producers and users that is enabled by medial developments, did not leave the sector of digital games untouched. Here too, former users are now more and more able to take the role of producers by creating game contents. Online platforms like Steam contribute to an easier production and especially distribution of one's own user-generated contents by enabling the creators to share and users to download the user-generated contents via their so-called Steam Workshop. This reaches from the creation and distribution of single ingame objects to the creation of new game modes or games which are based on the possibilities and resources that the original game(s) contain(s) or offer(s) (Schleiner 2005; Beil 2013). And while these user-generated contents can be very positive examples of the phenomenon of produsage, there can also be examples that are problematic from a media ethical and / or media pedagogical point of view. Reasons for that are the possible depictions or downplayings of racism, fascism, chauvinism, sexism, antisemitism and the like.

In this text, the game Prison Architect (2015) and the Steam Workshop contributions belonging to it are used as examples to show how the produsage in the area of digital games can work but also to show which problems and problematic contents may arise. To demonstrate the latter, a special category of user-generated content for the game Prison Architect – (national socialist) concentration or death camps – will be analysed from the perspective of media ethics and media pedagogy.

In a first step, it will be clarified if and why these user-generated contents can be seen as (media) ethically problematic or not. Can these contents be perceived as an example of "virtual history" (Uricchio 2005, 336) or should they rather be categorized as a downplaying of the cruelties of the national socialist regime (Marci-Boehncke 2010)?

Since the text will mainly argue in favour of the second possibility, there will secondly be a media ethical reflection on the responsibilities of distributors like Steam when it comes to such contents but also and mostly there will be a reflexion on a media ethical theory of non-professional produsage (Rath 2010). Here, questions concerning the responsibilities of produsers and the skills and abilities that are necessary for a media ethically reflected non-professional produsage will be raised and answered.

Lastly, the media pedagogical perspective comes into play when the question is brought up how the awareness for one’s own responsibility as a produser can be raised. In this last part, it will also be explained how a media ethically reflected media pedagogy can contribute to the development of skills and abilities that are necessary for a(n) (media) ethically non-professional produsage.
@InProceedings{MAISENHOLDER2018DAR,
author = {Maisenh{\"{o}}lder, P.},
title = {THE DARK SIDE OF PRODUSAGE – CONCENTRATION AND DEATH CAMPS AS USER-GENERATED CONTENT FOR THE GAME PRISON ARCHITECT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MEDIA ETHICS AND MEDIA PEDAGOGY},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1545},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1545},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6560-6570}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Maisenhölder
TI - THE DARK SIDE OF PRODUSAGE – CONCENTRATION AND DEATH CAMPS AS USER-GENERATED CONTENT FOR THE GAME PRISON ARCHITECT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MEDIA ETHICS AND MEDIA PEDAGOGY
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1545
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 6560
EP - 6570
ER -
P. Maisenhölder (2018) THE DARK SIDE OF PRODUSAGE – CONCENTRATION AND DEATH CAMPS AS USER-GENERATED CONTENT FOR THE GAME PRISON ARCHITECT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MEDIA ETHICS AND MEDIA PEDAGOGY, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 6560-6570.
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