Visualizing ecocritical euphoria in red dead redemption 2

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ecocritical approaches to videogames need to remain open to more realistic visual representations of nature in commercial videogames. A number of ecocritics have argued that rendering natural actors like weather patterns as a passive background that never actively impedes player progress can reinscribe an unproductive nature/culture or Cartesian subject/object split. The chapter suggests that ecocritics can benefit not only from metaphorical forms of proceduralism, but also by better understanding literal forms of the ways in which visual rendering technologies themselves figure and unfigure nature/culture divides. Ecocritics often have to read against the grain in a videogame like Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) for the ways in which a player interacts with the environment procedurally. Long gone in RDR2 are the days of static and largely-pixelated 2D overhead skies and clouds like those seen in the Nintendo Entertainment System console’s Super Mario Bros. RDR2 does embody many of Abraham and Jayemanne’s criteria, which means that it largely simulates a nature/culture divide.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMediating Nature
Subtitle of host publicationThe Role of Technology in Ecological Literacy
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages30-45
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429678172
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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