Am 14.11.2019 eröffne ich mit dem Vortrag „Gespielte Zukunft: Utopische Räume im Videospiel“ die Wintervorlesungsreihe der Katholischen Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. Es wird um Spiele als Raum für utopisches Handeln gehen, vornehmlich also um die aktive Erkundung dystopischer Welten, die Erschaffung eigener utopisch-dystopischer Narrative durch Spielerhandeln etc. Ich rede über BioShock, DayZ und bestimmt auch Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
The relation of science fiction and the utopian tradition has been a point of some contention among critics of either field—Darko Suvin, for example, famously argued that “utopia is not a genre but the sociopolitical subgenre of science fiction” (61). And Peter Fitting refutes Suvin’s simplistic conflation, instead arguing “that there is not a necessary connection between utopia and science fiction” (149) as suggested by the subgenre attribution, while nonetheless sf brings to the utopian imagination specific qualities, such as “its ability to reflect or express our hopes and fears about the future, and more specifically to link those hopes and fears to science and technology” (138).Weiterlesen
Fallout: Post-Apocalypse for the Atomic Golden Age
From its inception, the Fallout series has been entrenched in feelings of nostalgia for an era long gone, or one might argue, for an era once imagined to come. In effect, Fallout is a case of „retrofuturism,“ a cultural form that „highlights nostalgia, irony, and time-bending dislocation … engaging the relationship between the future and the past.“Weiterlesen
Deus Ex: Cyberpunk and the Choice of a Transhuman Future
With the rapid changes in computer technology, popular discourses reflect an anxiety about the future and the role of humans in the world. Cyberpunk—a mode of science fiction highlighting information technologies and degrees of social disorder—in some ways captures these anxieties.Weiterlesen
1.1 Terminologies and Definitions
As with any literary genre, a clear-cut definition of cyberpunk is hard to find. Among scholars of science fiction (sf), many differentiate between a historical group of writers who met at the beginning of the 1980s, were originally known as ‘the Movement,’ and consisted of William Gibson (*1948), Bruce Sterling (*1954), John Shirley (*1953), Rudy Rucker (*1946) and Lewis Shiner (*1950), and a sub-genre of science fiction that emerged at that time with that group but soon expanded beyond it.Weiterlesen
A new partnership of nations has begun, and we stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. (…) Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective – a new world order – can emerge: A new era – freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice and more secure in the quest for peace.
George H. W. Bush 
Globalization and Empire
George Bush, Sr., former President of the United States, is famous for this promise that he gave in a speech in Congress on September 11th 1990. It was a promise for a utopian world of global union and peace that was ironically used to justify a war, which many considered more an act of policing than an act of conquest. For the authors of Empire, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, world police action such as this is emblematic of the constitution of a “new world order” of different magnitude. In their book Hardt and Negri posit that we are witnessing the constitution of a global system of power relations that they refer to as Empire. Empire is the result of the progression from modernity to post- modernity and of the decline of national sovereign power. It is expression of a global market and a worldwide flow of products, information and population. In their opinion, Empire usurps the sovereign vacuum and establishes a new world order. It should be noted, though, that Empire is not imperialism:
Oryx and Crake is a near-future dystopian novel with strong satiric undertones that revolves around the innovations of gene splicing and their consequences. The novel follows Snowman, the survivor of a global and apocalyptic gene plague, in his every day struggle for survival and in his caretaking of a new race of bioengineered posthumans called the Crakers. In order to hunt for supplies Snowman returns to the bioengineering facility where he used to work, and in flashbacks reveals his pre-apocalypse life as Jimmy, best friend and unwitting accomplice to Crake, the genius behind both the plague and Crakers.Weiterlesen