An Epistemology of the Event for the Digital Media: From Lewis Carroll to Elsagate

An Epistemology of the Event for the Digital Media: From Lewis Carroll to Elsagate

Juan J. Vargas-Iglesias (University of Seville, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3119-8.ch009

Abstract

Since the end of the twentieth century, game studies have concentrated on epistemological positions seemingly unable to make significant distinctions between traditional games and video games. This approach has hindered the development of a post-modern ontology for decades, in a medium—video games—that is decidedly postmodern. This chapter proposes going beyond the mechanistic notion of considering observable reality as a combination of a determined state of things, which is a prevalent feature in today's game studies. To achieve this, the author argues from the Deleuzian notion of the “event.” When referring to the concept of the “ideal game,” as proposed by Deleuze, is intended to enunciate an epistemology that describes the implicit potentialities of digital media in general. The application of the epistemology would comprise memetic and viral statements, generative aesthetics and the forms of video games themselves.
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Ontological Problems

For some time, the winds of change have been felt regarding the comprehension of that which is specifically digital. This has particular meaning with regard to video games, considering that, since the game studies revolution arrived in 1999 with the journal Game Studies, in response to the current’s cornerstone represented by the book Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (1997) by Espen J. Aarseth, it could be argued that the ontological question has tended to be resolved in excessively reductive, if not reductionist, terms: video games are games, and as such they are systems based on formal sets of rules and mechanics. According to game studies, any approach in any field, whether in decision theory, discourse analysis or in cultural or gender studies, should be able to be reduced to this fundamental basis.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Emergency: Theoretical concept of systems that refers to the capacity of a system to perform in a manner not anticipated in its rules.

Incorporeal: Stoic philosophical concept that refers to the consequence of, or on, an object, as something opposed to its properties.

Ideal game: Philosophical concept from transcendental empiricism that refers to a game form of conceptually inverting the arrangements common to conventional games.

Game Studies: Group of academic studies that consider the issue of the video game from ontological, methodological or field theories perspectives.

Post-structuralism: Philosophical reaction, the origins of which are usually dated to 1966, to the methodological ambitions of structuralism, and which aims to confront the latter with the contradictions of its idealist inheritance.

Event: Philosophical concept from transcendental empiricism that refers to the modulation of series in progress and constantly altering.

Transcendental empiricism: Philosophy introduced by Gilles Deleuze which focuses on the conditions of the experience and considers the possibility of formalising a logic prior to the subject.

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