Ottomentality as Technology of Self: How Do Mobile Games Aestheticize the Entrepreneurial Self?

Ottomentality as Technology of Self: How Do Mobile Games Aestheticize the Entrepreneurial Self?

Hasan Turgut, Neslihan Yayla
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4655-0.ch021
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Extreme-right populist tendencies are getting stronger day by day. Although there are various factors that make the extreme-right populist tendencies stronger, the fact that cannot be ignored is that these tendencies must be reproduced discursively (history, culture, etc.) by the ruling power structures. Today, digital media and especially games are the primary areas where this reproduction process is most visible. Mobile games, in particular, turn into dominant cultural phenomena related to daily life beyond leisure, entertainment, and mind refreshing functions. Within this view, it is claimed that the mobile games based on the historical narratives in Turkey work as technology of self to contribute to the discourse of neo-Ottomanism. In order to test this claim, the three most downloaded mobile games (Game of Sultans, Magnificent Ottoman, and Age of Ottomans) in the Appstore and Android markets are selected as examples, and the aesthetic production realized through the structural elements of the game will be analyzed.
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Game/Dispositif And The Games Of Truth

Dispositif is a conceptualization put forward by M. Foucault to express the network formed by the articulation of the discursive and non-discursive. According to Foucault, our subjectivities emerge as a result of the relationality between knowledge (epistemology) -power and ethical (self-care) networks. Foucault thus adopts an approach which leaves the understanding of external knowledge and power to the subject concept. Power and knowledge are articulated in discourse (Foucault, 2012: p. 72). Accordingly, knowledge cannot be thought without power, but also power cannot exist without knowledge. Foucault rejects a state of being with self-care in which the subject is formed under the decisive power of an external power. Power takes on meaning only when it is with free subjects; otherwise it is necessary to talk about domination, not power. From this point of view, according to Foucault, resistance is immanent in power; power must protect the formation of a subjectivity, albeit minimally, otherwise it ceases to be power (Deveci, 2005: pp. 34-35). The subject, then, is not a given by power, but a state of social formation that establishes itself (in relation to itself) in the context of the games of truth (jeux de vérité) between discursive and non-discursive practices.

In his post-1980 studies, Foucault begins to deal with the processes of subjectivation in order to understand power relations. According to Foucault, self-care is the knowledge of the person himself. However, it is also the knowledge of certain rules of conduct and principles that are both truth and imperative (Foucault, 2014: p. 227). Because the self-care always appears in institutionalized structures and associations. Therefore, it is shaped not only by the networks of power, but also by relations within communities such as kinship and friendship. Essentially, at this point, the ways of knowing of power come into play, and according to Foucault, the person establishes power relationship called himself, arche. In this context, it is the relationality between technologies of domination and technologies of self that determines the field of power relations (Lemke, 2016: p. 369).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Entrepreneurial Self: The conceptualization Foucault uses to express neoliberal subjectivity.

Technology of Self: The name given by Foucault to all the material components that make up the self.

True Folk Culture: It is the slogan that aims to remind people of their history who is alienated by the Kemalist modernization project, by right-wing populist political discourse in Turkey.

Ottomentality: Conceptualization used by C. Erdem to express the logic of subjectivity in which the Ottoman past was harmonized with neoliberal rationality.

Playability: It is the whole of the structural elements that make it easier to choose a game (scenario, visuals, discourses)

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