Where do bodies begin in video games, and where do they end? You might point to the body of a game’s protagonist, but if a player’s body isn’t so much a body as an expression of your agency, it seems reductive to stop at the perceptible limits of a single character model. In the medieval horror game A Plague Tale: Innocence, the player’s range of action and awareness is distributed across the bodies of several characters (together with the phantom onlooker that is the third-person camera) – big sister Amicia, a gang of teenage runaways and the sickly young Hugo, who must be guarded like an Achilles heel. Where exactly are you, the intelligence directing the simulation, in this shifting equation, and what does that bode for concepts of minds and bodies at large? To play such games may not feel like reading a treatise, but it’s to participate in a thought experiment about the lines we draw between the categories of consciousness, flesh and world. Games in general are useful platforms for the systematising and testing out of philosophical precepts, and there are projects that engage with this potential more earnestly. Another recent example is No Code’s existential thriller… Read full this story
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