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Open World EmpireRace, Erotics, and the Global Rise of Video Games$
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Christopher B. Patterson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479802043

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479802043.001.0001

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Author \ Auteur / Asian

(p.77) 2 Ludophile
Open World Empire

Christopher B. Patterson

NYU Press

This chapter explores the transnational dimensions of authorship through three types of video game developers: the invisible American developer, the Japanese auteur developer, and the Asian North American game developer. The absence of Western designers in game media and advertisements allows companies to blame players themselves for a game’s violence, sexual transgressions, and virtual racisms. As Western developers gain little recognition for their work, the cults of personality around Japanese designers reinvent “the Orient” as a space of development and playful innovation. Toying with Roland Barthes’s theories of love within an “amorous discourse,” this chapter explores the player as “ludophile,” whose attention to game designers (particularly Asian North American designers) can offer erotic readings of games as objects of attachment, queer intimacy, and obscurity. The “ludophile” does not invest authority into the author so much as call attention to speculative ways of playing routed through ethnic authorship.

Keywords:   video game, auteur, queer, designer, Asian American, erotic, Roland Barthes, ethnic

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