Gaming as Everything

Challenging the Anthropocene through Nomadic Performativity

  • Vlad Butucea University of Glasgow
Keywords: Nomadic theatre, Performance, Ecology, Video game, Gaming, Everything, Anthropocene, Deleuze, Braidotti, Immanence, Dramaturgy

Abstract

In this article I will discuss David O’Reilly’s video game Everything (2017), suggesting that its unique dramaturgy portrays an ecology in which the human is seen as forging alliances and interconnections with the non-human. Set in a seemingly infinite open-world environment, the game revolves around the player exploring vast digital landscapes from the vantage point of multiple nonhuman avatars. Wondering about with no defined goal or direction, I played as animals, plants, rocks, continents, and even galaxies, shifting from one state to the next and making unexpected alliances along the way. Employing Audronė Žukauskaitė concept of “nomadic performativity” (2015), I will suggest that the game’s dramaturgy invites the player to imagine the human as deeply embedded in a wide system of interaction with non-human others, as an immanent part of an ecosystem, rather than a transcendental being outside of it. In articulating this idea, Everything puts forward a theatrical critique of the
human domination and othering of the natural environment that underpins and drives the Anthropocene.

Author Biography

Vlad Butucea, University of Glasgow

Vlad Butucea is a PhD candidate in Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow. His research explores questions of queer embodiment in digital theatre and performance, focusing on the cyborg interactions between human audiences and non-human technologies. As a theatre maker, Vlad most recently wrote one part of National Theatre Scotland’s sci-fi trilogy Interference (2019). His new play, Silkworm (Pearlfisher Theatre Company, Byre Theatre), is set to premiere at the 2020 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Published
2020-05-31
How to Cite
Butucea, V. (2020). Gaming as Everything. Nordic Theatre Studies, 32(1), 143-158. https://doi.org/10.7146/nts.v32i1.120413
Section
Articles thematic section