The disembodiment…

In this post, I will show how video games affect the disembodiment of a body.

A following experiment was done  on the campus of Indiana University, over eighty people gathered together in a residence hall dining room for the IU LAN War. They were there to play video games.

The majority of them would not leave until noon the next day and many did not even sleep the entire time they were there. Instead they stayed awake, staring at a computer monitor, ignoring the needs of their body so they could play video games.

In a situation such as this, the role of the body is more complex than it might first appear. When we play these games for such extended periods of time, we ignore our physical bodies and concentrate on what happens to our virtual bodies inside the game world.(Drew Leder,1990).

Therefore, while playing a video game, not only is the player’s attention not dwelling on one’s physical embodiment, but there is also another form of disembodiment occurring. While playing a video game, the player looks through the eyes of a virtual character, seeing what the character sees.The player does not see the player because, for all intents and purposes, while playing, the player is the character. ( Deborah Lupton, 2000)

Thus, it seems that in a video game, not only is a player not aware of one’s embodiment, they are similarly unaware of their disembodiment. This is why getting hooked to playing would cause one to get disconnected from the real world.

Word Count: 210

References

Leder, Drew. The Absent Body. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
Lupton, Deborah. “The Embodies Computer/User.” The Cybercultures Reader. Eds. David Bell and
Barbara M. Kennedy. New York: Routledge, 2000. 477-488.

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