Can we feel empathy in a video game? In his essay Adamant Bodies. The Avatar-Body and the Problem of Autoempathy, Adriano D’Aloia argues that we hardly can, because of the relationship we need to maintain with our game avatar. First and foremost, the player is busy dealing with his intra-subjectivity, “the mediation between the actual user’s Self and the virtual avatar’s Self”. There is a lack of Otherness. The player’s hyperactivity – at the same time enunciator, character, and spectator – makes it even more difficult for him to establish an empathic relation with the characters of the video game. Paradoxically, passivity allows the spectator to fully mirror the emotions coming from a movie, which is very different from the kind of involvement required by video games.
Category Archive for 'curated matter'
Where does the video game end and real life begin? With the arrival of simulators, augmented reality, and social networking games, borders becomes harder to define, and so is the magic circle that separates the fantasy world from the outside world. But is there really a real, outside world that would be exempt of any fantasies? And could video games be completely isolated from their cultural context? Is the concept of magic circle not outdated? In his essay Spatial Typologies of Games, Alex Wade suggests to locate video games using the three spaces of Henri Lefebvre: perceived space (how we interpret space), conceived space (space of science and rationality), and lived space (the space where we live). He adds another dimension – digital space. Video games are multidimensional in his model, and need to be situated on the four axes.
Text by Mathias Jansson
How old is Super Mario and how long is a life in video games? Mario Gerosa and Jennifer Grace-Dawson’s paper, Chronology and Historicization in Virtual Worlds and Video Games, begins with what seems to be an obvious statement: “Time in virtual worlds is not the same as in real life: in virtual worlds there is a different experience of time.” If we read a book, see a movie, or play a video game, we can experience years of history in the realm of a couple of hours. The real time is in the narrative structure crunched into a room-time that is moving a lot faster than our own time, jumping from event to event and skipping the transport holes, i.e. the boring parts.