Thomas William Shrimplin: “Young people, violence and the ‘everyday’ co-production of geopolitical discourse in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds”

In Students by General Account

My research is based on my keen interest in all things political and cultural geography- and more specifically popular geopolitics. My PhD project engages with the producers of, and the young people who play, videogames to understand both how they ‘co-produce’ popular geopolitical discourse through ‘everyday’ practices, and what the social effects of these processes are on young people. Through taking a ‘relational’, ‘everyday’ approach to understanding popular geopolitics, this research explores how the producers of and the young people who play the videogame PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) are both active, geopolitical agents that are involved in the co-production of popular geopolitical discourse.
Firstly, it aims to engage with its producers to understand the creative processes and history behind the game’s production. Secondly, it aims to engage with young gamers to understand how they ‘co-produce’ geopolitical discourse through ‘everyday’, ‘violent’ and creative practices. Finally, it aims to discuss with young people about how they negotiate and are shaped by the social effects of these practices of ‘co-production’ within their everyday lives. To do this, the project will adopt a participatory mixed methods approach, through carrying out a hybrid ethnography with young people in ‘virtual’ and ‘real’ spaces around the UK, and by conducting semi-structured interviews with young people and the games producers. In doing so this project will gain broader insights as to how audiences and producers may negotiate and rework popular geopolitical discourse as part of their everyday lives.
I previously completed both my undergraduate degree in Geography in 2017 and an MA in Human Geography Research in 2018 at Newcastle University.