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video games, power and intervention

December 30, 2012

In an article I’ve referred to before (I may be repeating myself, but I think it has potential for use in a variety of further studies), Sara McNamee points out:

“Gottschalk argues that the playing of video games provides an inversion of everyday life, where:
The video game inverts the passive viewer–screen relation by allowing the player to intervene, and to exercise some control over the pace and unfolding of the electronic text. These characteristics allow a momentary sliding of power from the outside world to the self. (Gottschalk, n.d.: 7)” (p.484)

She also notes that: “Cohen and Taylor (1976) […] have argued that individuals utilize many strategies in order to escape from everyday life, or ‘paramount reality’. In regard to the ways in which fantasy is used in popular culture they argue: Standard critiques of mass culture invariably make a great deal of the escape status of fantasies disseminated in films, plays and comics, implying that the depiction of excessive hedonism, violence, promiscuity, sensuality or whatever can undermine people’s attachment to paramount reality. But no such undermining can be assumed: the fantasies of popular culture may, on the contrary, support and enhance paramount reality. (Cohen and Taylor, 1976: 85)” (p.486)

Ref: Sara McNamee (2000?) FOUCAULT’S HETEROTOPIA AND CHILDREN’S EVERYDAY LIVES Childhood Vol. 7(4): 479–492

Reference is to:
Cohen, S. and L. Taylor (1976) Escape Attempts: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Everyday Life. London: Allen Lane.
AND S. Gottschalk (n.d.) ‘Videology: Videogames as Postmodern Sites/Sights of Ideological Reproduction’, pers. comm.

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