Playing the Photographer

in The Last of Us Remastered: a New Frontier of Digital Photography?

In-game screenshots are by no means a new phenomenon; publishers have long used the techniques of live-action photography to capture scenes of their video games for use as advertising materials. So too have gamers had the opportunity to take screenshots during play for later reflection and sharing. The photo editor mode in TLOUR is unique in that it does not require technological literacy, such as modding or coding, to operate this feature. A player does not need specialized skills beyond the ability to play the game in order to take photos. This democratization of game photography may be another commercial impetus, a means of Naughty Dog to get more people creating promotional content for their game, but it also enables a new means of play and self-expression. Continue Reading

Interview – Jason Nelson

On E-Lit, Games, & Fuzzy Boundaries

First Person Scholar’s Kent Aardse recently chatted with Jason Nelson, creator of interactive digital art and poetry and prose wonderments. FPS: Your work has been embraced fully by the electronic literature crowd, specifically the Electronic Literature Organization. It seems as though the field of electronic literature is a rather large umbrella, encompassing many different instances of digital arts practice. Your website states that you work in net art and digital poetry… Continue Reading

Playing for Transcendence

Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Disability

My commentary takes up the relationship between transhumanism and gaming in Human Revolution. I discuss narrative support for and against transhumanism, and argue that theories of posthumanism offer another area of inquiry with respect to embodiment. I suggest that as the game explores how technology changes our understanding of human ability, it also points toward how disability does not consist of a set of deficiencies, but is instead shaped by environments. Finally, I contend that the game’s inaccessibility is instructive for considering its imbrication in a culture of difficulty that valorizes overcoming the body. Continue Reading