Video game theory must often concern itself with a distinction between the human and the machine in order to think about the way games function: what kinds of agency a human player has over a machine, within a game world, or over themselves while engaged in game play. But of the agencies that constitute a game play experience, only some are expressed through the diegetic game space; there is always some escape. Because video game theory has typically been focused on the agency of the player and how it is expressed within a game, moments when the game plays back have often been excluded from theoretical frameworks. But vital materialism has the potential to address those moments of enchantment and organize them into a coherent social order. In this paper, I pursue a direction within the ludological framework of video game theory to examine single-player video games, one that privileges different registers through which to conceive of agency in play, so that vitality which circumvents established routes can be detected and given shape. Specifically, I investigate glitches as the most pronounced “voice” of machinic agency in gaming.
|Keywords:||Video Games, Ludology, Agency, Vital Materialism, First-person Shooter, Magic, Vitality, Magic, Gamic Assemblage, Actor-network Theory|
Graduate Student, American Studies, University of Texas, Austin, USA
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