The Cambridge Companion to Nineteen Eighty-Four, examining the impact of #Orwell‘s visionary novel, is now available to download via @CambridgeCore. The book will soon also be available to purchase in paperback from @CambridgeUP. https://cup.org/33TkpxQ
Included is my essay on the influence of Nineteen Eighty-Four on video games:
“In this game that we’re playing”: George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Video Games
For those interested, here is the abstract:
Traces of George Orwell’s critiques of totalitarian society, in both blunt and subtle forms, exist throughout video games. Major themes of dystopia, surveillance culture, technologies of control, authoritarianism, and the oppression of a large underclass exist in innumerable game narratives and environments. Do these simulations encourage critical thought around the eventuality of totalitarianism, of which Orwell warned? Or, are these games merely systems in which to practice a kind of entrapment, in which so-called “freedom” may be practiced within a medium that is exceedingly ordered in its very constitution? Through the stories games tell, as well as in the very form of video games, is it even possible to truly stimulate a model of criticality? This essay proposes that the critical influence of Nineteen Eighty-Four exists not only in video game narratives and the constitution of their navigable spaces, but also in the wide variety of strategies, rule-based systems, rhetorical capacities, ethical quandaries and—most importantly—their “better” kinds of failure.