Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

Amidst all the Cyberpunk 2077 discourse over the past month-and-a-half, I was struck by the opinion expressed by gamepressure’s Michael Chwistek that the game perhaps offers more potential as an interactive movie than as an open-world RPG. The article begins thusly: “I don't like games that complete themselves. Take Telltale games, for example. I only … Continue reading Interpassivity, Reaction Videos, and Emotions as Content: Why Pablo Hidalgo is (maybe) Right

Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

With much ballyhoo and bellyaching about the absurdly miserable year of 2020, our collective calendars have finally turned to 2021. The year-end was marked by effusive declarations of relief and hope, even though these admissions of optimism were often tinged with cynical self-awareness reflecting the continuing complexities of our current moment (i.e. coronavirus vaccines are … Continue reading Virtual Horizons & Futurology for 2021: Žižek on The Great Reset

Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

Journalist and media critic Chris Hedges recently interviewed Noam Chomsky. Hedge's writeup of the discussion is up at Truthdig: Chomsky believes that the propaganda used to manufacture consent, even in the age of digital media, is losing its effectiveness as our reality bears less and less resemblance to the portrayal of reality by the organs … Continue reading Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

A ticklish subject: Decrying, defending Žižek as teacher

Slavoj Žižek's pedagogy became a topic of debate among critics and supporters of the philosopher after video of an interview with Žižek was posted to YouTube. In the 10-minute video, recorded in April at the 2014 Žižek Conference in Cincinnati, Žižek discusses his loathing of office hours, among other subjects. Regarding classes he has taught … Continue reading A ticklish subject: Decrying, defending Žižek as teacher

Chomsky on Snowden, Žižek on Buddhism, Fuchs on social media and the public sphere

In a recent editorial Noam Chomsky considers the Snowden revelations and their implications: These exposures lead us to inquire into state policy more generally and the factors that drive it. The received standard version is that the primary goal of policy is security and defense against enemies. The doctrine at once suggests a few questions: … Continue reading Chomsky on Snowden, Žižek on Buddhism, Fuchs on social media and the public sphere

Žižek on post-U.S. order, Harvey on Piketty, Rushkoff’s new job and doc

Writing in The Guardian, Slavoj Žižek  considers the capitalist global order in a world without superpowers: The "American century" is over, and we have entered a period in which multiple centres of global capitalism have been forming. In the US, Europe, China and maybe Latin America, too, capitalist systems have developed with specific twists: the … Continue reading Žižek on post-U.S. order, Harvey on Piketty, Rushkoff’s new job and doc

Mike Gane interview: Baudrillard, academia, more

The upcoming issue of the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies features an interview with Baudrillard scholar Mike Gane. The interview touches upon a variety of topics, including Gane's interactions with Baudrillard, media coverage of Margaret Thatcher's death, and hypothesizing what Baudrillard would be writing about were he alive today: One could ‘see’ the specific things … Continue reading Mike Gane interview: Baudrillard, academia, more

Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

It's been a long time since the last update (what happened to October?), so this post is extra long in an attempt to catch up. I haven't seen the new Ender's Game movie, but this review by abbeyotis at Cyborgology calls the film "a lean and contemporary plunge into questions of morality mediated by technology": … Continue reading Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

Inside Korea’s gaming culture, virtual worlds and economic modeling, Hollywood’s Summer of Doom continues, and more

I've long been fascinated by the gaming culture in South Korea, and Tom Massey has written a great feature piece for Eurogamer titled Seoul Caliber: Inside Korea's Gaming Culture. From this westerner's perspective, having never visited Korea, the article reads almost more like cyberpunk fiction than games journalism: Not quite as ubiquitous, but still extremely common, are PC Bangs: … Continue reading Inside Korea’s gaming culture, virtual worlds and economic modeling, Hollywood’s Summer of Doom continues, and more

Rushkoff on Manning verdict, Chomsky/Žižek on NSA leaks, looking for McLuhan in Afghanistan

In an op-ed for CNN, Douglas Rushkoff examines what lessons the Bradley Manning verdict offers in the digital age: We are just beginning to learn what makes a free people secure in a digital age. It really is different. The Cold War was an era of paper records, locked vaults and state secrets, for which … Continue reading Rushkoff on Manning verdict, Chomsky/Žižek on NSA leaks, looking for McLuhan in Afghanistan