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On the Brink of Virtual Extinction: Hunting and Killing Animals in Open World Video Games
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6170-0666
2018 (English)In: Eludamos - Journal for Computer Game Culture, ISSN 1866-6124, E-ISSN 1866-6124, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 33-45Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article focuses on the underlying structures evaluating acts of violence against different bodies in games. Taking the hunting mechanics of open-world games as its point of discussion, it looks at how game design manifests procedural arguments on the ideological aspects of animal violence.

Whereas there are instances of explicit violence in these games, the article argues that the explicitness of such depictions serves to emphasize the “messiness” of producing animal goods, thus impeding the “carnist” ideological view of meat as pure commodity. By considering how games distinguish humans from animals, it looks at what violent acts are rendered acceptable or unacceptable, and notes distinctions between what bodies are protected by, or exempt from, moral and legal rights.

Finally, the article considers how the algorithmic nature of spawning makes digital animals immune to extinction. Interestingly enough, the article nevertheless notices how a game may intentionally diverge from this logic in order to defamiliarize its established logic.

Among the games discussed are Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption (2010), and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed III (2012) and Far Cry 3 (2012).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge, MA, USA: Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab , 2018. Vol. 9, no 1, p. 33-45
Keywords [en]
Animal violence, hunting, extinction, ideology, carnism, procedural rhetorics
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71486DiVA, id: diva2:1279038
Available from: 2019-01-15 Created: 2019-01-15 Last updated: 2019-01-15Bibliographically approved

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On the Brink of Virtual Extinction

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van Ooijen, Erik

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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