Yedong Sh-Chen’s research interests center on media, media technology, and twentieth and twenty-first century Chinese media culture. His current project traces the history of digital gaming in China, with a special focus on the politics of play. Engaging with scholarship from games studies, digital media studies, history and philosophy of technology, and studies of Chinese literary and audiovisual culture, he explores the entanglements between gaming and gamification, play and performance, difficulty and pleasure, and algorithmic control and recursive efforts of (trans)individuation. He seeks to understand how these entangled forces and movements have shaped China’s cultural, political, and media landscapes since the 1970s. Additionally, he is working on a related project that excavates the long-neglected contributions of East Asian countries to the invention of computer graphics.
Yedong is a member of Harvard University’s East Asian Film & Media Working Group, curating East Asian cinema in collaboration with the Harvard Film Archive. He is also helping the Harvard-Yenching Library collect games.