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The Selfish Selfless Hero: Questing in Dragon Age: Origins


The Selfish Selfless Hero: Questing in Dragon Age: Origins

Jong, Carolyn (2013) The Selfish Selfless Hero: Questing in Dragon Age: Origins. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Dragon Age: Origins (DAO) is a highly successful single-player digital role- playing game. The player’s intervention in this world is structured around a series of quests, which describe and delimit the range of actions that must be undertaken in order to succeed in the game. Through her own subjective experiences of play, the author describes the various ways in which the narrative and ludic structures that make up the quest system in DAO both enable and constrain certain actions, identities, and roles. This thesis provides an in-depth account of how in-game choices, coupled with levelling mechanics, narrative events, and the affective responses of the player, can reflect and potentially reinforce or disrupt dominant ideologies and political beliefs. Drawing on work from the fields of game studies, political theory, feminist theory, literary criticism, and medieval studies, the author describes how her experiences of DAO, including the actions she elected to take within the game, were shaped by an implicit willingness to adopt or accept neoliberal, market-based modes of assessment, ethical binaries, and the domination of the self over the Other. The first two chapters outline previous research on quests, videogames, and the role of subjectivity. The third chapter discusses side quests and levelling systems, while the fourth investigates main quests and the overarching master quest. After examining the neomedieval setting of DAO in the fifth chapter, the author concludes with a discussion of how her own private practices of play are implicated in the process of socialization, resulting in inconsistencies and contradictions.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Jong, Carolyn
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:15 April 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Consalvo, Mia
ID Code:977097
Deposited By: CAROLYN JONG
Deposited On:19 Jun 2013 15:49
Last Modified:17 Sep 2018 20:51
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