Upcoming Events

Event: Posthuman Games for Posthuman Players: Non-Human Game Spaces, Assets, and Interfaces (22 November 2021)

22 November 2021, 6 p.m. EDT via Zoom: To register, please click here.

What does it mean to approach video games and gaming from a critical posthumanist perspective?

Gaming destabilizes the humanist concept of a unified self by promoting the concept of multiple, networked subjectivities and providing a space for their co-existence. Consequently, we might conceive of gaming as a posthumanist act, a fertile ‘ground’ for decentering the player/user in the digital age. What does this displacement of player identity and more broadly, anthropocentrism, look like in material and practical terms?

Perhaps video games and online gaming unlock our potential to embody the posthuman in the same way that cybernetics, AI, and bioengineering have promised in the past. Gamers are confronted with Artificial Intelligence, neural networks, machine learning, and other emerging technologies that complicate gaming identities, practices, and processes in ways that capture posthumanist thought.

Moreover, when players play with self-aware systems comparable to the chess-playing computer Deep Blue: how are sentience and consciousness redefined in human-machine interaction? Put differently, we are accustomed to thinking that gamers play the game; instead, these emerging technologies challenge human agency and demonstrate that the game plays the Player.

Another thought that emerges from the nexus of posthumanism and gaming exposes persistent tensions that continue to burden the human-machine interface. While gaming arguably frees the player from physical limitations of the human body, facilitating their organic and symbiotic merger with technology; inaccessible gaming technologies can amplify a gamer’s physical limitations instead of diminishing them, thwarting the emancipatory potential of technology.

Please join us for an evening of discussion that hopes to as innovative as it is invigorating.  For more information contact Russell Kilbourn: rkilbourn@wlu.ca

Categories: Upcoming Events

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