Lara Croft in the World Upside Down


Friday, November 8, 2019, 13:15 - 15:00 at room B-1004.

Tomasz Z. Majkowski (Jagiellonian University Krakow) visits Tromsø to speak about the scholarszhip of M. M. Bakhtin. This second lecture shows how Bakhtin's concepts can offer new insights into digital games and play.

Even though Bakhtinian theory was build mostly upon, and with the purpose of studying literature, its scope goes beyond the literary: not only Bakhtin himself tackles frequently upon practices of everyday speech and festivities of late-Medieval carnival, it was subsequently applied to film and new media and digital games. Especially the latter seems to be a good fit for Bakhtinian analysis, as the theory stresses the unstable, dialogical and processual nature of the narrative.

Digital games with strong narrative and an ambition to create worlds in a minute detail can be described as a latest part of the long chain of carnivalized art forms and observed trough Bakhtinian lenses. Such an analysis allows to uncover and describe inevitable parodic tensions within such games, turning the meticulously created world into a carnivalesque space of gay relativity. This is where various ideologies wrestle to dominate both the narrative and gameplay, and mocking each other in a carnivalesque struggle. To illustrate the usability of key Bakhtinian concepts I will present the analysis of Shadow of the Tomb Raider as a carnivalized game-novel.

The lecture is an initiative of the ENCODE research network and is open for everyone. Also Masterstudents are very welcome to join.

Back to ENCODE guest lectures.

Tomasz Z. Majkowski works at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, where he is the head of the Game Research Centre. His main research interests are: Bakhtin-inspired game research, postcolonial theory in game studies and relation between digital games and the ideologies of nation-states.

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