A Game Made From Other Games : Actions and Objects in Garry’s Mod

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Conference

Title11th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference (PCG2017)
LocationJagellonian University
PlacePoland
CityKrakow
Period28 November - 1 December 2017

Abstract

This paper analyses how actions define entities (objects, characters, etc.) in the game Garry’s Mod (Facepunch Studios 2006). This game is a sandbox environment built as a modification of Half-Life 2 (Valve Corporation 2004), and comprises entities that have been ported and appropriated from other games, and simulated together into a new game landscape, devoid of the contexts and goals that once defined these them. In this way, Garry's Mod appears to be the game that is played after all other games have finished. Entities from other games are simulated by Garry’s Mod, but it is up to the player to give them new meanings via their actions. The constant improvisation of new games and new modes of play seems to exemplify the ludic Situationist utopia New Babylon, conceived by Constant Nieuwenhuys. However, the actions within Garry's Mod are upheld by the economic logic of Web 2.0, making Garry’s Mod an exemplar of what is known as “Game 3.0” – those games that anticipate play activities across Web 2.0 platforms. This socio-economic context, combined with the spectacle of self-referentiality and pastiche within the game itself, make Garry’s Mod seem more emblematic of the cultural logic of late capitalism described by Fredric Jameson. This paper sets-up both of these readings as equally appropriate, yet contradictory characterisations of the game. By analysing how player actions define the ontology of Garry’s Mod, this paper evaluates whether Garry’s Mod is a ludic utopia or a postmodern spectacle.

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Citation Format(s)

A Game Made From Other Games : Actions and Objects in Garry’s Mod. / Nelson, Peter.

2017. Paper presented at 11th International Philosophy of Computer Games Conference (PCG2017), Krakow, Poland.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)