Vierailuluento (Švelch): "When the abject becomes object: Video game monsters as computational others"


16.11.2018 14:15 — 15:45

Sijainti: Mattilanniemi, Agora, AgC231
Tutkijatohtori ja apulaisprofessori Jaroslav Švelch luennoi videopelien hirviöistä, joista muodostuu pelaajan toiminnan analysoitavia ja päihitettäviä kohteita. Švelch tarkastelee, mitä tapahtuu, kun perinteinen tapa käsitteellistää ja toiseuttaa hirviöt kohtaa niiden erilaisen toteutustavan peleissä.

When the abject becomes object: Video game monsters as computational others

Video game monsters are often inspired by other media – mythologies, gothic fiction, or horror film. But despite these connections, their behavior follows conventions and technical affordances of the video game medium. Video game monsters are machine-controlled automata that tend to follow predictable algorithms and are endowed with a number of discrete statistics or “stats.” Many traditional monsters can be interpreted using Julia Kristeva’s notion of abject, which describes that we exclude and exorcise from ourselves. But in video games, they become objects of player action, analysis and strategizing. They are there to be faced and defeated by the player. This talk will discuss what happens when two kinds of otherness collide – the abject otherness of traditional monsters, and the computational otherness of video game enemies. The talk is based on the research conducted within the Games and Transgressive Aesthetics project at the University of Bergen.

Jaroslav Švelch is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bergen and an assistant professor at Charles University, Prague. He is the author of the upcoming monograph Gaming the Iron Curtain: How Teenagers and Amateurs in Communist Czechoslovakia Claimed the Medium of Computer Games (MIT Press, 2018). He has published work on history and theory of computer games, on humor in games and social media, and on the Grammar Nazi phenomenon. He is currently researching history, theory, and reception of monsters in games.

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Sirpa Leppänen


Kieli- ja viestintätieteiden laitos