Pandemic Play: Community in Performance, Gaming, and the Arts


    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


    When the arts, culture, and entertainment industries of the world came to a screeching halt in late winter 2020, many commentators claimed this was the end of art as we know it. Theatre managers and museum directors grasped at straws, trying to stoke excitement via social media and running archival footage in hopes of generating revenue while their seats and halls remained empty. Artists’ opportunities to show or create non-digital work ran dry. Film and television sets were vacated and production put on hold. At the same time, gaming platforms and streaming services thrived. Animal Crossing on Nintendo’s Switch became a worldwide phenomenon; Netflix traffic hit all-time highs. DJs streamed to Instagram live, garnering record viewerships. Meanwhile, friends and colleagues got creative with distanced sociality and shared cocktails on Zoom, at least until the fatigue set in.
    As we continue in various iterations of “quarantine” around the globe, the question of how we have learned—as creators or consumers—to play, is far from settled. This collection addresses the question of play in broad terms: how have the arts, culture, and entertainment industries adapted to a majority virtual world? How has our understanding of togetherness and play changed with public health guidelines in effect? Might new forms of art and play developed in quarantine outlive the pandemic and perhaps supplant earlier forms? What do these forms offer in terms of accessibility, equity, or inclusion?
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Dec 2022


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