Montageman: A dude who writes

February 7, 2007

Multiplicity and Gaming

Filed under: identity — montageman @ 5:04 am

Tara McPherson in “Self, Other, and Electronic Media,” talks about the virtual self and its ability to inhabit different points of view.  She sees this as a moment of a fantasy of colonialism (188).   Her concern is Levinasian in scope – cyberspace allows us to become the other rather than engaging with the other.  “Players or viewers are invited to try other points of view in rapid succession, an exploration of characters or presepctives.  Click a menu; be a Ninja.  Click once more; you’re white again,” (188).  McPherson is responding to Bolter and Grusin here – Bolter & Grusin argue, “the freedom to be oneself is the freedom to become someone (or something) else.  Because there is no single, privileged point of view, the self becomes a series of “other” points of view- the intersection of all the possible points of view that can be taken in a given space,” (248).  Identity, then, is treated as fluid & malleable.  In the context of gaming, McPherson’s comment regarding the click is true.  The gamer can be a Ninja at one moment and then Peyton Manning the next.  Part of the pleasure of gaming is this fluidity, a transience that does not demand fidelity to any one character.

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