The Journey to Nature: The Last of Us as Critical Dystopia

Farca Gerald Ladevèze Charlotte
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

As an instance of the critical dystopia, The Last of Us lets the player enact a post-apocalyptic story in which human society has been severely decimated by the Cordyceps infection and where nature has made an astonishing return. This paper examines the ecological rhetoric of The Last of Us by laying emphasis on the empirical player’s emancipated involvement in the gameworld (virtualized storyworld) and how s/he engages in a creative dialectic with the implied player. In suggesting the utopian enclave of a life in balance with nature, The Last of Us scrutinises the ills of our empirical present and lays a negative image on the latter. As such, The Last of Us is a magnificent example of the video game dystopia and succeeds in triggering a powerful aesthetic response in the empirical player, which might result in a call to action in the real world.


MMOGs and the Future of Literature

Kücklich Julian
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

Massively multi-player role-playing have created shadow societies that are simultaneously a mirror and a caricature of our own societies. In this respect, they are comparable to the social commentary traditionally provided by literature and film. Over the last 100 years, however, our world has been transformed by new technologies and the myriad ways we have found to use them. Despite these new developments, media generally still rely on linear narrative, a form that seems increasingly inadequate to represent contemporary life. Could it be possible, then, that the MMOG, with its many intertwined and discontinuous narrative strands, is more appropriate to map the changes in global society? This paper tries to answer this question by building on the concept of realism, which plays such an important part both in the discourse of modernism and the popular discourse around digital games, and which will serve as a leitmotif in this media-historical analysis.