Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Bodies That Count: Augmentation, Community, and Disability in a Science Fiction Game

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2020), 14, (4), 421–436.

Abstract

The article examines the overlaps between disability studies and digital game studies through an analysis of the science fiction digital game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Using an adaptation of Mitchell and Snyder’s work on disability and narrative prosthesis in literature, the power implied by erasure-by-metaphor is considered, as are issues of migration, appropriation, and the grotesque. By examining ability, disability, and tangibility in relation to the game’s rules, game-play, and narrative elements, this analysis demonstrates the relevance of disability theory to science fiction games.

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Works Cited

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Snyder, Sharon L. and David T. Mitchell. “Body Genres: an Anatomy of Disability in Film.” The Problem Body. Ed. Sally Chivers and Nicole Markotic. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2010. 179-206. Print. Google Scholar

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Titchkosky, Tanya. “Life with Dead Metaphors: Impairment Rhetoric in Social Justice Praxis.” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 9.1 (2015): 1-18. Web. 16 Jan. 2020. Google Scholar

Thomson, Rosemarie Garland. Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature. New York: Columbia UP, 1997. Print. Google Scholar

Vidali, Amy. “Seeing What We Know: Disability and Theories of Metaphor.” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 4.1 (2010): 33-54. Print. Google Scholar

Allan, Kathryn. “Introduction: Reading Disability in Science Fiction.” Disability in Science Fiction: Representations of Technology as Cure. Ed. Kathryn Allan. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 1-18. Print. Google Scholar

Barthes, Roland “Structural Analysis of Narratives.” Image Music Text; Essays Selected and Translated by Stephen Heath. London: Fontana Press, 1977. Print. Google Scholar

Braidotti, Rosi. The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity, 2013. Print. Google Scholar

Carr, Diane. “Ability, Disability and Dead Space.” Game Studies 14.2 (Dec. 2014). Web. Google Scholar

Carr, Diane. “Bodies, Augmentation and Disability in Dead Space and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.” Context Matters! Exploring and Reframing Games in Context. Proceedings of the 7th Vienna Games Conference FROG 2013. Ed. Konstantin Mitgutsch, Simon Huber, Jeffrey Wimmer, Michael G. Wagner, and Herbert Rosenstingl. Vienna: New Academic Press Org. 2013, 31-41. Print. Google Scholar

Carr, Diane. “Body Count” for the DiGRA Conference, Jul. 2018. University of Turin. Turin. Google Scholar

Carr, Diane. “Delicate Subjects: Vulnerability and Validation in Action Adventure Games” for the DiGRA Conference. Aug. 2016. University of Abertay. Dundee. Google Scholar

Carr, Diane. “Methodology, Representation, and Games.” Games and Culture 14.7-8 (2019): 707-23. Print. Google Scholar

Champlin, Alexander. “Playing with Feelings: Porn, Emotion, and Disability in Katawa Shoujo.” Well Played 3.2 (2015). Web. 16 Jan. 2020. Google Scholar

Csicsery-Ronay Jr., Istvan. The Seven Beauties of Science Fiction. Middletown: Wesleyan UP, 2008. Print. Google Scholar

Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Dev. Eidos Montreal. Square Enix, 2011. PS3. Google Scholar

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Dev. Eidos Montreal. Square Enix, 2016. PS4. Google Scholar

Erevelles, Nirmala and Andrea Minear. “Unspeakable Offenses: Untangling Race and Disability in Discourses of Intersectionality.” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 4.2 (2010): 127-45. Print. Google Scholar

Frasca, Gonzalo. “Ludologists Love Stories, Too: Notes from a Debate That Never Took Place.” DiGRA ‘03: Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference 2003. Web. 16 Jan. 2020. Google Scholar

Gibbons, Sarah. “Disability, Neurological Diversity, and Inclusive Play: an Examination of the Social and Political Aspects of the Relationship between Disability and Games.” Loading... 9.14 (2015): 25-39. Print. Google Scholar

Gibbons, Sarah. “Playing for Transcendence: Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Disability.” First Person Scholar. Oct. 2013. Web. 16 Jan. 2020. Google Scholar

Hawkins, Joan. ““One of Us”: Tod Browning’s Freaks.” Freakery. Ed. Rosemarie Garland Thomson. New York: New York UP. 1996. 265-76. Print. Google Scholar

Joyce, Stephen. “Playing for Virtually Real: Cyberpunk Aesthetics and Ethics in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.” Cyberpunk and Visual Culture. Ed. Graham J Murphy and Lars Schmeink. 2017. New York: Routledge. 155-73. Print. Google Scholar

Juul, Jesper. Half-real: Video Games Between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2011. Print. Google Scholar

Ledder, Simon. “‘Evolve today!’ Human Enhancement Technologies in the BioShock Universe.” BioShock and Philosophy. Ed. Luke Cuddy. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. Print. Google Scholar

Mitchell, David T. and Sharon L. Snyder. Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2000. Print. Google Scholar

Mogk, Marja Evelyn. “Introduction: an Invitation to Disability.” Different Bodies: Essays on Disability in Film and Television. Ed. Marja Evelyn Mogk. Jefferson NC: McFarland, 2013. 1-17. Print. Google Scholar

Möring, Sebastian. “Tackling the Metaphor-Simulation Dilemma.” Proceedings of DiGRA Nordic 2012 Conference: Local and Global - Games in Culture and Society (2012). Web. 16 Jan. 2020. Google Scholar

Patsavas, Alyson. “Extra-Textual Reveals: Disability, (Sort of) Queer Sexality and a Military Coup in Battlestar Galactica.” Different Bodies. Ed. Marja Evelyn Mogk. Jefferson: McFarlane and Company, 2013. 131-44. Print. Google Scholar

RoboCop. Dir. Paul Verhoeven. Orion Pictures, 1987. DVD. Google Scholar

Siebers, Tobin. Disability Theory. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2009. Print. Google Scholar

Smith, Angela M. Hideous Progeny: Disability, Eugenics, and Classic Horror Cinema. New York: Columbia UP, 2011. Print. Google Scholar

Snyder, Sharon L. and David T. Mitchell. “Body Genres: an Anatomy of Disability in Film.” The Problem Body. Ed. Sally Chivers and Nicole Markotic. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2010. 179-206. Print. Google Scholar

Sobchack, Vivian C. Screening Space: the American Science Fiction Film. New York: Ungar, 1993. Print. Google Scholar

Square Enix. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. You Can’t Kill Progress. Web. 16 Jan. 2020. Google Scholar

Titchkosky, Tanya. “Life with Dead Metaphors: Impairment Rhetoric in Social Justice Praxis.” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 9.1 (2015): 1-18. Web. 16 Jan. 2020. Google Scholar

Thomson, Rosemarie Garland. Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature. New York: Columbia UP, 1997. Print. Google Scholar

Vidali, Amy. “Seeing What We Know: Disability and Theories of Metaphor.” Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 4.1 (2010): 33-54. Print. Google Scholar

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