I kissed an NPC, and I liked it: Love and sexuality in digital games
Keywords:Digital games, Love, Meaning-making, Semiotics, Sexuality
In this paper we will discuss the presence of love and sexuality in digital games (from â€˜80s amateur porn games to the newest released VR ludo-erotic entertainment), both as representation and as experienced simulation. By way of a semiotic framework, we will analyze the following key features that produce the meaning of love and sexuality (L&S from now on) in these texts: the possibility of semantic manipulation, intersubjective enunciation, a cognitive sensibility created through a ratio, and the presence of an economy of meaning. Furthermore, we will look not only at what these games represent and allow players to do, but also at playersâ€™ strategies and actions that give love and sex meaning in these games. Finally, this work will allow us to highlight not only the ideological and socio-cultural relevance of love and sex in digital games, but also the limits of a classical semiotic approach to this kind of problem, and consequently to make a general theoretical reflection in the conclusion.
Bankov, K. 2018. Scarcity and Meaning: towards a Semiotics of Eco-nomic Transaction. In Cobley, Paul and Alteanu, Alin (eds). Semiotics and its Masters. Vol. 2. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2018.
Barthes, R. 1977. Fragments dâ€™un discours amoureux. Paris: Seuil.
Bogost, I. 2007. Persuasive Game. Massachusetts: The MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/5334.001.0001
BondÃ¬, A. 2010. Il linguaggio come â€œfenomenoâ€. Lâ€™esperienza linguistica fra Saussure e la fenomenologia. RIFL, 3, pp. 39-51.
BondÃ¬, A. 2008.Regimi del senso. La teoria delle â€˜forme semanticheâ€™ tra diversitÃ linguistica e stabilizzazione semiotica. XIV Colloque de la SociÃ©tÃ© Italienne de Philosophie du langage, Siena.
Danaher, J & McArthur, M. 2017. Robot Sex. Social and ethical impli-cations. MIT, USA. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262036689.001.0001
Degenaar, J. & Oâ€™Regan, K. 2015. Sensorimotor theory and Enactivism. In Topoi (2017) 36: 393. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11245-015-9338-z
Eco, U. 2004. Storia della bellezza. Milano: Bompiani
Eco, U. 1979. Lector in Fabula. Milano: Bompiani.
Ferri, G. 2007. Narrating machines and interactive matrices: a semiot-ic common ground for game studies. In A. Baba (Ed.), Proceedings of the Digra 2007 Conference, pp. 466â€“473.
Giuliana, G, T. 2018. Quilting the meaning. Proceedings of Digra 2018.
Grodal, T.K & Lindegaard,G.A. (2008).Embodiment and interface. In Video Game Theory Reader 2. London: Routledge.
Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, Usa.
Marrone, G, Dusi, F and Lo Feudo, G. 2007. Narrazione ed Esperienza: intorno a una semiotica della vita quotidiana, San Giovanni: Meltemi.
Paolucci, C. 2010.Strutturalismo e Interpretazione. Milano: Bompiani.
Picard, R,W. 1997. Affective Computing. Cambridge: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.1037/e526112012-054
Pinker, S. 1997. How the Mind Works. NY: Norton.
Sicart, M. 2011. Against procedurality. Game Studies, Volume 11 issue 3 December 2011.
Thibault, M. 2017. The meaning of Play. PhD Dissertation. University of Turin.
Todorov, T. 1982. La conquÃªte de lâ€™AmÃ©rique, la question de lâ€™autre. Paris: Seuil.
Volli, U. 2006. Ãˆ possibile una semiotica dellâ€™esperienza?. In Marrone, G, Dusi, F and Lo Feudo, G. 2007. Narrazione ed Esperienza: intorno a una semiotica della vita quotidiana, San Giovanni: Meltemi.