Transpacific \ Virtual / Blur
This chapter provides a conclusive stringing together of erotics, empire, and play by focusing on experiences of virtual tourism and conceiving of “the virtual other.” In video games, the virtual other places attention not onto this other but the inventor, the gazer, who has given up on obtaining a truthful and authentic access to the other and therefore sees them as virtual, somewhere between the real and the fake. Thinking through erotic methods found in the Asian confrontations of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Eve Sedgwick, this chapter argues that the modes of queer erotics in interactive media entice players to reimagine the virtual other by stepping outside of imperial forms of mapping, digital surveillance, and war. It examines discourses of virtual otherness manifested in transpacific cartography within Google Maps, the Civilization game series, and the virtual-reality experience of Google Earth.
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