Authors: Samir Passi and Ranjit Singh
Venue: International Conference on the Philosophy of Computer Games in Athens, Greece.
Date: 7 April, 2011.
This conference paper philosophically examines the concept of time travel, identity, and conceptualization of self (of the player) within their game experience. Using Day of the Tentacles (1993), InFamous (2009) and Final Fantasy VIII (1999) as case-studies, the paper explored conceptualizations of time travel in relation to the avatar of the player in the game and the player’s conception of his/her own self. It demonstrates how the player, as media, fills up their avatar to a certain extent with what can be labelled as a cultural (and narrative) manifestation of the player’s own self; while the remaining part of the medium of the avatar operates as scripted lines of programming. Analysing the player-avatar relationship as a virtual embodiment that is partly driven by the narrative (which is also a medium) and partly by the game in itself (the code) opens up a middle ground between the Ludology and Narratology camps within game studies. The game experience is not only borne out of the narrative (which, to the coding of the game, is a game tree), but also the game code (which to the sensorium of the player is a narrative) simultaneously.