The Orc—Playing the “Wholly Other”: Investigations of Kant's Sublime and The Technological Sublime in Blizzard Entertainment's Massive Multiplayer Online Game World of Warcraft

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Abstract

While the complicated scheme of the philosophical sublime may at first hand seem mere platitude when brought to life in computer games, this article claims that the action/adventure game World of Warcraft wedges open a space in which to operate the sublime and navigate radically “other” subjectivities. The hypothesis is that the assembly of fantastic elements in World of Warcraft duplicates the Kantian sublime while at the same time commenting upon and even radicalizing it. The Romantic tradition of the sublime as it unfolds in Immanuel Kant's third Critique is outlined followed by an attempt to topologize elements of the fantastic in Blizzard's game design philosophy leading to a clarification of what we call “the knotted point of play” where game object, game interaction, and game subject intervene. Finally, we explore how the notion of the technological sublime relates to World of Warcraft and beyond.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftGames and Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media
Vol/bind18
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)868-888
ISSN1555-4120
DOI
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2023

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