A little something I rescued from the recycle bin…

I”m editing an article for publication and as always happens in situations like that there are always little bits that have to be cut out. Cutting the out is always painfull and so rather than just deleting the paragraph I thought I would post it here. So here is something for people to mull over:

In the often cited “Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey writes that one of the pleasures of film is scopophilic, or based on looking (324). “[The] brilliance of the shifting patterns of light and shade on the screen helps to promote the illusion of voyeuristic separation” (Mulvey 324). However, in a FPS, the player is voyeristically looking at the main character because the player is the main character which means there can be no voyeuristic pleasure in playing a FPS because there is no one to watch. Indeed, even if one were to attempt to stop playing the game in order to look at one of the other characters and subject the character to a objectifying male gaze, the character would in all likelyhood shoot the player in a direct rejection of the voyeristic gaze. Additionally, what occurs while playing a Shooter is not a separation, but an immersion in that by using the first-person perspective, the player is encouraged to forget that they are playing a character and to feel as if they themselves are in the game. The pleasure in playing a First-Person Shooter is not in looking but in doing.

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  1. meredith

    I guess that separation is necessary for voyeurism to occur. Does this lack of separation mean, then, that the fantasy offered within the FPS is more complete, or perfect, than that offered by the voyeuristic gaze? Just a thought…