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Somaster Fiction and the Avatarial Game Body

O'Brien, Daniel Paul (2018) 'Somaster Fiction and the Avatarial Game Body.' Evental Aesthetics, 7 (1). 138 - 171. ISSN 2167-1931

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Abstract

In this paper, I discuss the elements of the avatarial game body. Using Don Ihde’s philosophy of technology, in addition with Richard Shusterman’s concept of somaesthetics, I break the avatar down into basic parts. I consider these parts through Shusterman’s understanding of the soma and Ihde’s postphenomenological discussions of human-technology relationships to devise somaster fiction. Somaster fiction, as I argue, is a convergence between the player’s real-life body and a computer game experience, presented through avatarial onscreen bodies in games such as the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and invisible non-avatarial agency, discussed in games like The Novelist and This War of Mine. This paper incorporates each of Ihde and Shusterman’s main ideas about the body, which coalesce during the gameplay experience to enable players to become masters of an avatarial body and virtual topographical space. Somaster fiction discusses the different human-technology relationships that occur during gameplay and how a player is extended into the game world via controllers and avatars. This paper also touches on what a body is in accordance with Ihde and Shusterman, and how these concepts of bodyhood are reverberated within the game world.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 09:34
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 10:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24757

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