So this is my Boss in Saint’s Row 3.
I don’t have a big point to make here. I just came off of a five day writing binge, so this blog is going to suffer for a few days. Oh well.
However, I do want to say that I finished SR3 last night and it really set me to thinking. We like to talk about immersion in games, which is to say that we co-constitute ourselves and our avatars in the game at the same time. SR3 does a brilliant inversion on immersion by making it absolutely impossible. GTAIV is about a living world, and the wonderful play stories we have gotten about Nico Bellic attests to that. But SR3? I can make myself in the world, a very close copy, but I can’t recognize myself.
Saints Row 3 is a void wearing the mask of a mirror.
Nice, succinct point at the end. I haven’t played SR3, but it sounds like the problem is the improper formation of ~ego~ (I don’t know what to call it in a gaming context) through lack of imaginary identification? The idea of dissonance between the imaginary and the symbolic in video games seems like it could be worth looking at.
Zizek/Lacanian explanation: “The basis of the imaginary order is the formation of the ego in the “mirror stage”. Since the ego is formed by identifying with the counterpart or specular image, “identification” is an important aspect of the imaginary. The relationship whereby the ego is constituted by identification is a locus of “alienation”, which is another feature of the imaginary, and is fundamentally narcissistic… The Symbolic Order is what substitutes for the loss of the immediacy of the world and it is where the void of the subject is filled in by the process of subjectivization.”