Gaming Mind, Gaming Body: The Mind/Body Split For a New Era


DiGRA 2005 Conference: Changing Views--Worlds in Play (2005)



first-person shooter, embodiment, disembodiment, phenomenology


Drawing on the phenomenologically inspired works of drew Leder and Randy Martin, this paper examines the ways in which playing a First-Person Shooter first creates a secondary body for the player and then, because of the first-person perspective, proceeds to erase that body from the player’s consciousness. The paper explores the notion of and the ways in which First-Person Shooters complicate our conception of embodiment. Offering an ethnographically-influenced semiotic analysis of playing a FPS, the paper begins by declaring that we are typically not aware of our bodies and that playing a FPS gives us another body on which to concentrate causing an erasure of the physical body. It is then asserted that the virtual body is also rendered invisible due to the perspective and speed of the game resulting in a double erasure of the body leaving behind only the mind.
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