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Methods | Data Collection, Discourse Analysis, and Genealogy

Throughout the collection, I have accounted for the geotemporal significance of Iranian video games. What I aspire to is not an archaeological dig in the geological sense, nor a search for the beginning (Foucault 1977, 131). Rather, I seek to show the discourses produced in Iran as a non-discursive practice of the industry. Discourses obey certain rules and require a concretized definition. Specifically, Michel Foucault’s genealogy intends to show a restoration of the conditions for the appearance of a singular idea “born out of multiple determining elements of which it is not the product, but rather the effect” (Foucault 2007, 64). To make something intelligible, according to Foucault, means to show a clear understanding not a closure of an idea. When taking an account or archaeology of an idea, one must place it in the context of “the accidents, the minute deviations—or conversely, the complete reversals—the errors, the false appraisals, and the faulty calculations that gave birth to those things that continue to exist and have value for us; it is to discover that truth or being do not lie at the root of what we know and what we are, but the exteriority of accidents” (Foucault 1977, 146). I seek to not foreclose the idea of genealogical account of games in Iran but rather show how they have demonstrated deviations through space and time. Therefore a geneaology requires the restoration of political consciousness as shown through the apparatus of games.

To put it simply, I seek to deconstruct the underlying meanings communicated through cultural artifacts known as games. This method produces how objects manifest a dialectical exchange between on a global and local scale. Beyond Foucauldian thought, this project illustrate interconnections between video games as digital objects, subjectivity, and social worlds. Video games, in Iran and across the globe, manifest as socio-historical discourses and are mutually constituted. Games construct and reconstruct histories and historical imagination and are connected within the social strata across time and space. This comes to fruition in materializations of games because games are often activated forms of knowledges passed down from a cultural context. Oftentimes this can materialize as a persuasive argument by, for, or against, a norm or claim made in a previous game. Therefore, games are as much about a cultural context as they are about culture making.