LIVE CHAT: CSULB profs play/study video games, may have world’s best job

It was about six years ago that Cal State Long Beach history professors Jeffrey Lawler and Sean Smith proposed creating a center at the school to study video games and the effect they have on how people view the world and its history. And yes, they got that look.

Summing up rather politely, Smith said “we ran into several issues,” the main being that while studying video games was nothing new in academia—American studies departments had been doing it for years—history departments have a little more, well, history, and therefore are sometimes less quick to embrace the new.

Fortunately, those issues were worked out, and the Center for the History of Video Games and Critical Play has been a thing at CSULB for a while now.

Smith and Lawler joined Hi-lo editor Steve Lowery to talk about how games affect our view of history, sometimes how it affects the history we choose to believe as well as what it says about our ideas and ideals regarding masculinity.

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Steve Lowery began his journalism career at the Los Angeles Times, where he planned to spend his entire career. God, as usual, laughed at his plans and he has since written for the short-lived sports publication The National, the L.A. Daily News, the Press-Telegram, New Times LA, the District and the OC Weekly. He is the Arts & Culture Editor for the Post, overseeing the Hi-lo.