Video Games and Posthumanism

Ruffino, Paolo (2018) Video Games and Posthumanism. In: DiGRA 2018 The Game is the Message, 25-28 July 2018, Universita di Torino, Italy.

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Abstract

ideo games as instances of everyday technoculture, operate within the premises of digitality, technology, simulations and software. By their very nature, they break down the subject-object, organic-inorganic, and player-game dichotomies. They constitute ludic ensembles, “inter-species assemblages” (Dyer-Witheford, 2015) or “biological-technological-informational” collages (Stasieńko 2017, 44). The subjectivity of the player is redistributed during gameplay into a post-human network of human and non-human bodies and agentialities. Post-humanist thought (Braidotti 2013) seems to be offering a promising perspective for digital games research. One, which invites theories and concepts looking at the game, the technology, the non-organic players. The very fact that games entail AI, procedural generation, complex agential relations between the player and the avatar, mean that strict divisions into subject and object, activity and passivity need to be rethought. It is fascinating, if not necessary in order to understand digital play and games, to move beyond the human and look at the phenomena of gaming from the point of view of the game instead. The examples of self-acting AI and self-playing games, make the technocultural and post-human dimensions even more pronounced. Over a decade ago Seth Giddings opened a debate on non-human dimension of digital play, when he proposed to recognize technological agency and shy away from the anthropocentric assumption that agency resides solely in the human player (Giddings 2005). This year, at DiGRA 2018, we would like to open a new chapter in the post-human ludic debate. In their talks, the participants of this panel we will address post-humanism in video games from numerous interdisciplinary perspectives, summoning the metaphorical death of the player in a Barthesian sense, exploring gaming in the post-anthropocene, addressing nonhuman agency in play, scrutinising the subjectivity of a game, and finally theorising a video game as a resistant (bio)object. References Braidotti, R. (2013): The Posthuman. Polity Press. Giddings, S. (2005): Playing with Non-Humans: Digital Games as Techno-Cultural Form. Proceedings of DiGRA 2005 Conference: Changing Views – World in Play. http://www.digra.org/digital-library/publications/playing-with-non-humans-digital-games-as-techno-cultural-form [Accessed 14.11.2017]. Dyer-Witheford, N. (2015): Cyber-Proletariat. Global Labour in the Digital Vortex. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Stasieńko, J. (2017): Automaty, hybrydy, afekty – posthumanistyczne konteksty apartu gry komputerowej i praktyk grania. In Teksty Drugie, 3, 2017.

Participants Sonia Fizek (Abertay University, UK) Panel talk: The Death of the Player Sonia is a Lecturer at the Division of Arts and Games at Abertay University. Her current research focuses on the relationship between digital games and automation. She looks at self-playing games, automated gameplay, and algorithmic players to understand the essence of and the fascination with self-acting playful systems. She is an active member of the research community as an associate editor of the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, and a board member for multiple initiatives and journals, such as Digital Games Research Association (British DiGRA), Digital Culture and Society Journal, Replay. The Polish Journal of Game Studies, and Journal of the Philosophy of Games. Paolo Ruffino (Lincoln University, UK) Panel talk: Video Games for Earthly Survival: Gaming in the Post-Anthropocene Paolo Ruffino is an academic and artist. He works as Lecturer in Media Studies at University of Lincoln (UK), and is the author of ‘Future Gaming: Creative Interventions in Video Game Culture’ (MIT/Goldsmiths Press, 2018). Ruffino has been doing research in digital gaming, media and cultural studies, media arts, semiotics and philosophy of language. He has been publishing on Games and Culture (SAGE), GAME Journal, Digital Culture and Society. Ruffino is chair of DiGRA Italia and board member of British DiGRA. He is one of the four founding members of the media art collective IOCOSE. Seth Giddings (University of Southampton, UK) Panel talk: Toying with the posthuman Seth is Associate Professor of Digital Culture and Design at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. He is the author of Gameworlds: virtual media and children’s everyday play (2014) and editor of The New Media & Technocultures Reader (2011). He is currently working on projects that address design for postdigital play, and on a media theory of toys. http://www.microethology.net. Sebastian Möring (University of Potsdam, Germany) Panel talk: What does a computer game care about when playing a human being? - Extra-human perspectives on computer games Sebastian Möring, Ph.D. is a lecturer in European Media Studies, a joint program of the University of Potsdam and the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany. His research focuses on meaning and structures of games and play, existential ludology as well as game and play philosophy. He is further interested in computer game photography. He acts as head coordinator of the Digital Games Research Center (DIGAREC) of the University of Potsdam whose computer game collection of 10.000 games is part of the International Computer Games Collection, a collaborative project with partners like Computerspielemuseum, Berlin. In changing roles he is involved in the organization of the annual Philosophy of Computer Games conference. For more information please visit http://sebastianmoering.com. Justyna Janik (Jagiellonian University, Poland) Panel talk: A video game as a resistant (bio)object Justyna Janik is a PhD student at Faculty of Management and Social Communication at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, as well as a member of the Jagiellonian Game Studies Research Centre. She holds MAs in Comparative Studies of Civilisations and Cultural Studies. Her thesis concerns the subject of the relationship between a player and a video game, with a focus on post-human and performative nature of this bond. She is also fascinated by works of Tadeusz Kantor, which she uses as a theoretical tool to better understand a video game as an object.

Keywords:Game Studies, Video Game Culture, Critical Posthumanism, Media Studies
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:32840
Deposited On:07 Aug 2018 13:09

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