Networked Subjectivity: Connectivity and Countergaming

The artist’s practice, and his behavior as producer, determines the relationship that will be struck up with his work. In other words, what he produces, first and foremost, is relations between people and the world, by way of aesthetic objects. Bourriaud, Relational Aesthetics 42 Interactivity has been redefined in some ways in the wake of … Continue reading Networked Subjectivity: Connectivity and Countergaming

Journey and the Aesthetics of Identity

Playing Journey after reading Nakamura’s article on sexism/racism in gaming culture, I was particularly struck by how the game seemed designed to avoid such forms of player-on-player abuse. Most obviously, the lack of a chat function prevents players from abusively trash-talking each other, but even on an aesthetic level, the characters seemed deliberately designed to encourage inclusivity. While (as Brad excellently points out here) Journey is not free from racial markers, it is nonetheless difficult to assign either a definitive gender or race to its characters.

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Journey, Music, and Orientalism

Underpinning Journey‘s soundtrack is the ever-present leitmotif that underscores almost all of the game’s episodes; The theme is remarkably simple, a simple B minor pentatonic scale, but it’s ubiquity throughout the game allows it to function as a powerful signifier for the spiritual narrative that unfolds throughout the gameplay. For instance, in the first statement, we hear it played … Continue reading Journey, Music, and Orientalism

Journey and Isolation

I was not able to make it to the game night in order to play Journey, but I did watch a video of someone playing the game all the way through. Throughout the entire game play in the video, the player never encountered another player. For those who played the game during game night, would … Continue reading Journey and Isolation

The Eternal Debate

If you talk to enough people, you will often find a divide on the merits of Facebook. Our class is no different. As part of our learning about network cultures and aesthetics, we were literally divided into two groups to debate what José van Dijck refers to as ‘connectedness’ and ‘connectivity’: “Perhaps ironically, commoditizing relationships—turning … Continue reading The Eternal Debate