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Baudrillard and Gadamer are dead : exploring play and the virtual through hermeneutic conversation

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Baudrillard and Gadamer are dead : exploring play and the virtual through hermeneutic conversation

Curtis, Benjamin (2010) Baudrillard and Gadamer are dead : exploring play and the virtual through hermeneutic conversation. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The work of Jean Baudrillard propounds a dilemma for social theory and research concerning digital games. On the one hand, the influence of what Baudrillard terms the Virtual threatens traditional social forms and modes of understanding. It insinuates its systematic logic into everyday life through the ubiquity of digital technology. On the other hand, playfulness and game-playing are held forth as a critical alternative comportment against this totalizing system of the Virtual . Research into digital games must address the paradox of virtual play in order to answer Baudrillard's challenge. Seeking an alternative reading of the situation surrounding digital games, this investigation employs the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer on hermeneutics, play and understanding. Against the horizon of massive online digital games as a novel social circumstance in which character-play is expressly possible, players of the World of Warcraft were enjoined in conversation. Through the situated hermeneutic interpretation of these conversations, play emerges as a dynamic negotiation of circumstance, society, mechanical resolution and tradition. The situation of playing a character in a digital game is revealed as containing the possibility of a critical alternative consciousness.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Curtis, Benjamin
Pagination:vii, 151 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2010
ID Code:979299
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:09 Dec 2014 17:56
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:48
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