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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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Violence \ Pleasure / Far Cry

(p.194) 5 Loop
Open World Empire

Christopher B. Patterson

NYU Press

This chapter explores how the open world shooter video games in the Far Cry series engage players in repetitive “game loops” (jump, run, aim, shoot). Set in the tourist and war-torn destinations of Southeast Asia, these games see violent acts of stabbing, shooting, and throwing grenades at an island’s locals not as heroic or imperial but as merely “something to do,” a quick three seconds of fun made dynamic and different enough to build into thirty seconds of fun. This chapter analyzes the game loops of Far Cry through Roland Barthes’s theories of “pleasure” and “bliss,” forms of erotic play that secure and unsettle the player’s identity and social world. Whereas game loops most often facilitate a drifting pleasure that normalizes the violence of empire, loops can also create the queer and unsettling feeling of bliss that disrupts imperial discourses.

Keywords:   video games, queer, empire, erotic, violence, Asia, tourism, Roland Barthes, war, Far Cry

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