Ludic dystopias

Power, politics and play

Rowan Tulloch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper is a close reading of the first-person shooter video game Bioshock. I analyse Bioshock within a heritage of dystopian media forms. I explore the commonalities between this particular dystopic vision and those that have preceded it in book and film. Following the rich tradition of reading dystopias as reflecting the cultural zeitgeist and fears of the era they were created, I look at the political and social concerns Bioshock embodies such as the dehumanising effects of technology and the danger of corporate domination. I argue that it is in its ludic mechanisms that Bioshock reveals the most about our current anxieties. I demonstrate that this game deconstructs its own mediation to offer a broad political critique of contemporary society.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, IE 2009
EditorsMalcolm Ryan
Place of PublicationNew York
Pages1-4
Number of pages4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event6th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, IE 2009 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 17 Dec 200919 Dec 2009

Other

Other6th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, IE 2009
CountryAustralia
CitySydney, NSW
Period17/12/0919/12/09

Keywords

  • Dystopia
  • Play
  • Postmodernism
  • Power
  • Video Games

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  • Cite this

    Tulloch, R. (2009). Ludic dystopias: Power, politics and play. In M. Ryan (Ed.), Proceedings of the 6th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, IE 2009 (pp. 1-4). [13] New York. https://doi.org/10.1145/1746050.1746063