Perhaps because of the strange combination of being a cultural anthropologist studying online poker, I was invited to give a talk to a group of journalists from The Finnish Association of Science Journalists and Editors on an excursion in University of Jyväskylä. I talked about how cultural anthropology can approach online poker as a cultural phenomenon. Below is an edited summary of my talk.
|Dice is life (source Psychology Today).|
In a way life is like poker. Or, poker is a crystallization of the elements of chance and skill and investment and turnout, in life.
|Poker champ/addict (sources Miscellaneouspics and Makefive).|
I had another very obvious but forbidden observation. My main informant's qualities as a succeful poker player were desirable qualities in other sectors of life as well. Logic, contemplation and self-restrain, just to name a few, didn’t do him harm in work or family life either. All in all, poker was present in the family but in a positive way. Even the wife applauded her husband for doing something fruitful in his pastime. The wife said she only watched television, which never brought the family a penny.
- What is the cultural configuration in which the morality of poker manifests?
- What are the sociocultural elements that marginalize poker as a hobby or profession?
- What makes online poker representations a hyper masculine venture?
|Serious pokermen (source PokerBonus).|