Since its beginning, the videogames history has revealed that the player-machine interaction evolved into much a more subjective version of playing videogames. From early videogames like Tau Ceti, Driller or Battle Zone, till games like Doom 3, Bioshock, Half-Life 2 and specially the futuristic Crysis, what has matured is precisely the concept of cyberspace has a subjective digital space. Videogames, which have been the pinpoint upon which William GIBSON have coined the term cyberspace, are becoming each time less games and look more like a sort of expanded cinema (YOUNGBLOOD). The question is that cyberspace as it is described in cyberpunk sci-fi short stories and best-seller novels is objective: an objective matrix shared has “consensual hallucination”. However, the latest generation videogames, specially the First Person Shooters enhance the subjective point of view of the player in order to provide a thrilling experience; games such as Red Steel, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas or Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare. In doing so, the augmented screen-based virtual realities, rather than HMD-based ones, explore a new art of hunting which thrills gamers that look for a cinematic experience. The result in FPS gaming is that subjectivity itself becomes machine-like due to the requirements of the graphics and physics engines that run this videogames. All images, which are “machine-images” explore the military and voyeur-voyager aesthetic, perspective devices, and they show a technoculture changing (and McLUHAN said that “when games change, so does culture”). Also, in multiplayer online game parties, FPS games gather typography and topography in an unpredictable gathering of ludic technology designed to play, write and speak, whether it is with humans or synthespians. And in this matter, several years after Neuromancer (GIBSON) and Life On Screen (TURKLE), the MUDS are already beyond chat.
- Herlander Elias, Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI), Covilha, Portugal
Full text (PDF) p. 165-167