'This Game Plays You as Much as You Play It': Self Reflexivity and Technology in Video Games

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Title: 'This Game Plays You as Much as You Play It': Self Reflexivity and Technology in Video Games
Authors: Lawlor, Shannon
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/12852
Date: 2020
Online since: 2022-05-05T15:43:56Z
Abstract: This dissertation is an examination of the progression of video game self-reflexivity as technological affordances have increased since the emergence of the medium as a form of popular entertainment in the 1970s/1980s. During this time digital technological capabilities develop at a rapid pace and occupy an increasingly prominent role in politics, economics, entertainment and areas of day-to-day life such as socialising, employment, financial transactions and commuting, to name but a few. As such I use Karen Mossberger et al.’s definition of digital citizenship to describe the individuals who “participate in society online” and engage in civil, political and social life online. The digital citizen is familiar with how digital technology usually operates and is to some degree aware of its potential failures and conveniences. Coupled with various cultural shifts in dominant ideologies regarding digital technology at the end of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st, highlighted by Y2K, 9/11, WikiLeaks, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach, etc., the digital citizen is encouraged to view digital technology as freeing but also potentially dangerous and frightening. This tension is focalized in self-reflexive moments in video games. These games operate as both escapist fantasy narratives but also interactive digital technologies, and so are in a particularly apt position to speak to an ambivalent attitude towards digital technology. This research defines different modes of self-reference in video games and interrogates particular techno-centric self-reflexivity in case studies from the 1980s onwards, in chronological order. Incorporating relevant media and digital cultural theory, as well as referencing video game studies throughout this period, this dissertation emphasizes the role of video games, and in particular video game self-reflexivity, in the ever-evolving digital world.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of English, Drama and Film
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2020 the Author
Keywords: Video game studiesVideo gamesDigital cultureMedia studies
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ie/
Appears in Collections:English, Drama and Film Theses

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