Videogames as Literature
Interactiveness in “Gods Will Be Watching”
The most noticeable aspect of video games can be argued to be its interactiveness. It is by offering a interaction with the characters, environment and story, that video games become so intrinsically interesting. In his essay “The Ideology of Interactivity (or, Video Games and the Taylorization of Leisure)”, Matt Garite intends to “demonstrate a number of means by which video games interpellate players as subjects of ideology” by interrogating the concept of interactivity(Garite12).
I believe that a good part of Garite’s analysis on the subject can be perceived in the video game “Gods Will Be Watching” since we can argue that the game is all about interacting in as many ways as possible with everyone and everything in order to understand what is going on. In this way Garite’s arguments about how “the command structure of video games tends to reinforce the disciplinary regimes of late capitalism”(Garite12), is captured and demonstrated by the implication of a similar political structure in the game. By repeating the same self-stablished techniques of interaction that I came up with to play, or at least attempt to understand, the game, I was able to fully understand Garite’s argument about the alienating process to which gamers are exposed and drag into, as I felt the “icy waters of routine calculation” that he mentions(Garite2).
In the same way, as the game progresses but there’s no apparent change on the environment and characters it becomes more and more tiring to keep repeating the same type of actions and routines. These feeling of “upcoming boredom” is highlighted by the repetitiveness implied in computer games, by the constant use of the same short cuts of the keyboard, which can be translate into how“games aggressively determine standardize player responses by means of a relentless series of instructions and demands”(Garite12).
As Garite concludes that: “at the level of structure, video games function as Taylorized forms of leisure, virtually indistinguishable from the information processing tasks characteristic of labor in the digital workplace”(Garite12), I can only say that the feeling that I experienced by playing “Gods Will Be Watching” wasn’t that much different from the tediousness I feel when I work on my animations and digital compositions for work. In other words, I think that it’s fascinating to see how such high concept of the interactivity of video games was turned around and demonstrated to be a double edge sword for the players. Although Garite’s focused more on the academic connotations of such concept and it’s different approaches, to compare his analysis with a real experience is much more rich and clarifies many of the article’s point that could seem too theoretical to a certain extends.
Gods Will Be Watching (Deconstructeam, 2014)
Garite, Matt. “The Ideology of Interactivity (or Video Games and Taylorization of Leisure).” Level Up Conference
Proceedings, Utrecht: University of Utrecht, November, 2003.