A Quick Note on Sloterdijk and the Bioshock Series

I’m reading the first volume of Peter Sloterdijk’s Spheres series, titled Bubbles, which is essentially about how space is created. More particularly, it is about how psychological and communicatory practices are enveloped in a struggle that shapes and constitutes space and place.

In any case, people who have played Bioshock and its sequel should think about this quote:

The first, fixed ego, which contains everything in view around itself, and the second ego, the swinging one that allows itself to be contained fully by its cavity, are related in character insofar as both attempt to withdraw from the folded, interlaced, participatory structure of the real human space. Both have annulled the original dramatic difference between inside and outside by placing themselves, in a fantastic manner, in the middle of a homogeneous sphere not challenged by any real outside or unappropriated other. (86-7)

This is what Rapture is all about, and it extends as a way of thinking through the notion of video games on the whole. We construct space as something to be conquered, proliferated over, or as a womb, something that we can be held by. I can’t help thinking of John Locke in the former case and the notion that space doesn’t exist per se until it becomes marked as useful property. The notion of the unused asset in gaming is aligned along this way of thinking–it is space that is nowhere, communication that’s impossible without a little space hacking.

These are just some preliminary thoughts about this. I’m sure that I will come back to it.

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