Exploring the Affective Dimensions of Videogame Play with Deleuze and Guattari: An Analysis of the Player's Investments in Hegemonic Narratives

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Dachgeschoss (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Colin CREMIN, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Videogames are a unique media form, and require an equally unique language to understand and interpret them. In this paper I turn to Deleuze and Guattari’s non-representational philosophy to develop a conceptual toolkit for thinking anew about videogames and our relationship to them. Rather than approach videogames through a language suited to other media forms, the paper invites us to think in terms of a videogame plane and the compositions of developers and players who bring them to life. Accordingly, we are not simply playing videogames we are creating them. We exceed our own bodily limitations by assembling forces with the elements comprising them. Beginning with the question ‘What is a videogame?’ the paper, drawing on my book Exploring Videogames with Deleuze and Guattari, develops a critical methodology for interpreting the form and also the player’s affective investments in games that reinforce hegemonic myths and gendered and racial stereotypes. Of sociological importance, here I discern between those in which the player is active in advancing hegemonic narratives and those in which only the non-playable segments are framed in such ways.