CRITICAL DISTANCE: 'Keywords in Play'

Press/Media: Profile/Interview

Period29 Jul 2023

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleCRITICAL DISTANCE: 'Keywords in Play'
    Media name/outletCritical Distance
    Media typeWeb
    Duration/Length/Size37:35 minutes
    DescriptionThis episode we speak with Dr. Xavier Ho, discussing his data visualisation and design research, as well as the curation process of the thoughtful queer indie games exhibition ‘Pride at Play’ ( It is part 5 of a special 6-episode Season of Keywords in Play, exploring intersections and exchanges between Chinese and Australian game studies scholarship. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

    Xavier Ho is a lecturer and a queer games researcher at Monash University. He received the inaugural CSIRO Medal for Diversity and Inclusion, was appointed as Junior Chair in Sexuality Studies at the Hunt-Simes Institute in Sydney, and was named a 2023 Australian Broadcast Corporation TOP 5 Arts media resident. You can check out his work here:, and follow him on Twitter

    The podcast series is part of the Engaging Influencers initiative. This initiative is curated by the Australia Council for the Arts and funded by the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations.

    As a joint venture, “Keywords in Play” expands Critical Distance’s commitment to innovative writing and research about games while using a conversational style to bring new and diverse scholarship to a wider audience.

    Our goal is to highlight the work of graduate students, early career researchers and scholars from under-represented groups, backgrounds and regions. The primary inspiration comes from sociologist and critic Raymond Williams. In the Preface to his book Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society, Williams envisaged not a static dictionary but an interactive document, encouraging readers to populate blank pages with their own keywords, notes and amendments. “Keywords in Play” follows Williams in affirming that “The significance is in the selection”, and works towards diversifying the critical terms with which we describe games and game culture.

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    Producer/AuthorEmilie Reed, Mahli-Ann Butt
    PersonsXavier Ho