Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Grotesque Games

I am on the tail end (hopefully) of my third chapter at the moment. Full draft due this Friday, to be specific. *hyperventilates into paper bag* For this chapter I looked at representations of the grotesque in two video games, BioShock (pic above) and Spore, and have come to some very interesting conclusions.

I am trying not to go off on tangents, however today I was struck by how much this quote by Donna Haraway evokes the grotesque:

"A cyborg exists when two kinds of boundaries are simultaneously problematic: 1) that between animals (or other organisms) and humans, and 2) that between self-controlled, self-governing machines (automatons) and organisms, especially humans (models of autonomy)." [Primate Visions]

Haraway is all about "transgressing boundaries, potent fusions, and dangerous possibilities": this is basically a text book definition of the grotesque. For real... go look you will find it in ANY book on the grotesque. Haraway never uses the term 'grotesque' to my knowledge. I'm unsure as to whether this is deliberate, or she never noticed the convergence between the grotesque and the cyborg. I feel they belong together. The "Cyborg" may very well be a/the key vision of the grotesque for the early 21st century.

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