Experiencing death and gender differentiation in video games Crossroads in Cultural Studies

Intervenant : Fanny Lignon

Sydney University

The cultural industries have never been shy about depicting the spectacle of death. However, video games are unique in that they offer at once the possibility of experiencing death again and again in an entertaining way and of watching the spectacle of this experience. They thus strive to give the lie to Wittgenstein’s view according to which death is not an event in life in that it can only be contemplated when it happens to other people.
I aim to examine this phenomenon by using a body of recent and popular video games where, despite the supposed equality of all human beings before death, a noticeable differentiation takes place according to the gender of the player character who dies.

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