Giorgi Vachnadze, Gaming: A Techno-Cultural Archaeology, Blue Labyrinths, January 9, 2023
Part I: A Prototype Demonstration
I would not be the first, nor the last person to take Michel Foucault’s writings on power, bio-politics, techniques of self-transformation, discipline, subjugation, etc., and apply them to the domain of digital games. It may be far from trivial to speak of video games as games of power and social normalization, as forms of organized or staged transgressions, instruments designed for the venting or the production of violence and so forth, but it wouldn’t exactly be a ground-breaking rupture in the literature on game studies either. The close association between gaming and the military-industrial complex has been noted, emphasized and reemphasized by several scholars in the field. Genealogies of Games are still a buzzword (albeit of a certain minor discourse) in academia and for a good reason too. It is not that difficult to see that we are governed through a kind of gaming apparatus – questions of resistance and subversion notwithstanding – it is quite intuitive to think that game narratives, level designs, avatar construction and different aspects of the gamer-subject pragmatics, tend to feed into a particular consumer-citizen disciplinary matrix. But I want to take a different approach.
Giorgi Vachnadze is a philosopher specializing in Foucault and Wittgenstein studies. He graduated with a Master’s Degree from the University of Louvain. Former editor and peer-reviewer for the Graduate Student Journal of philosophy “The Apricot”, he currently works at an addiction and rehabilitation centre in Tbilisi (Georgia) and the Tbilisi State University Library. He is a regular contributor to the Lawn Chair Philosophy Foundation, working in parallel on various topics in Media Archaeology, Game Studies, American Pragmatism and Educational Policy.