Playing at a Distance. A Journey into the World Where Video Games Play Themselves
DescriptionVideo games are much more than a display of the latest technology. They are spaces of fiction and speculation, where cultural values and realities are at play. In the last decades, we have thought of video games as highly interactive media that require our undivided attention, skill and input. However, recently increasingly more games leave human players in the roles of spectators rather than active agents. The current fascinations with algorithms, automation and non-human agency are literally replayed and displayed in video games, the most popular entertainment forms of the digital age. Is it a paradox, a trend or a larger cultural phenomenon? What do we learn about ourselves by delegating play to the algorithms? Do video games allow us to better understand the times we live in? In this talk, I will take you on a journey through a strange world of video games that play themselves and invite you to rethink the changing role of humans vis-à-vis technology. You can read more about automation, playing AI and other forms of distant play in my recent book Playing at a Distance. Borderlands of Video Game Aesthetic (MIT Press 2022).
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