Murder & masochism: exploring violence as a mode of engaging with fiction in From Software's Dark souls
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 21:32 authored by Daniel Stamatov
Violence permeates the act of playing videogames, extending beyond superficial representations of violence into the culturally formative. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the complexity of videogame violence through a close reading of From Software's Dark souls. I argue that violence functions as a mode of engaging with fiction in videogames. Players destabilise the potential meanings a videogame can generate by altering its material reality through play and translating their experiences of it through interpretation. Videogames reshape players by conditioning them toward new modes of playing, thinking and feeling. Ultimately, videogame violence is a mode of engaging with fiction that enables a mutually transformative interaction between players and videogames.