Nonhuman Embodiment–Sept. 6, 2017

What: “Nonhuman Embodiment”

Who: John W. Roberts, PhD Candidate in Moving Image Studies, Georgia State University

When: September 6, 2017, from 3-4:00 PM

Where: CMII Conference Room #211, 25 Park Place, Georgia State University

Many videogames invite their players to imagine certain forms of embodiment while engaging in play, perhaps most typically by allowing players to control more or less humanoid avatars rendered in virtual space. Some games, however, produce experiences of nonhuman embodiment by asking the player to become intimately familiar with the movement and action of other forms of avatar. In this Playtest session, we will investigate the question of nonhuman embodiment, by looking at three different driving games and using the aesthetic theory of Martin Heidegger and Brian Massumi to understand how these games can offer us radically different forms of phenomenal experience. We will be playing Rocket League, Twisted Metal, and Robert Yang’s indie game Stick Shift (content warning: sexually suggestive).

John W. Roberts is a Ph.D. candidate in Moving Image Studies at Georgia State University. His dissertation research explores the relationship between finance capital, conspiracy, and aesthetics in film, television, and new media in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. His writing has appeared in In Media Res and The Hitchcock Annual.