Note: This post is a translation of a previous one, in order to make the text of my presentation accessible to english readers. Feel free to signal any syntax error I could have made.
Homo Ludens, a research group on communication and socialization in video games, co-organized with the CRI (Center for Research on Intermediality), a conference called Les techniques de soi à l’ère des TIC (which I freely translated Technologies of the Self at the Age of Information Technology), within the ACFAS congress, last May 12-13.
Here’s the abstract of my presentation, titled « La stratégie comme production de sujets au sein d’un “Jeu Modèle” de StarCraft » (« Strategy as a Way of Subjectivization Within a StarCraft ‘Model Play’« ).
A lot of games such as role-playing games or simulation games like The Sims (Will Wright, 2000) represents the process of a subjectivization, implied in the construction of characters. But a kind of subjectivization still exists in games without a persistance, or even without an avatar. In Real-Time Strategy games like StarCraft (Blizzard Entertainment, 1998), the player starts each session with the same units, and must therefore establish her own game setting on a short period of time, usually less than an hour. Within the borders of the rules, and following the game code, I’ll try to demonstrate how a player can state herself as a subject. I’ll explore the concept of strategy as a way of subjectivization, for a player as well as for her friends and foes, and for the period of the game as well as before and after a session. The construction of foes’ identities is directly linked with the hidden and showed part of what they are doing, and of the « patterns » a player can create and load, following their playing experiences. Similar to the « Model Reader » Umberto Eco proposed, I’ll try to show how, without being out of a « Model Player », a player can identify herself to the game mechanics, and constitute herself as a subject, at a game scale (planning her actions or anticipating her foes) or within a player’s community.