Wii has never been modern: 'active' video games and the 'conduct of conduct'

Brad Millington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article considers the role of 'active' video games — specifically the Nintendo 'Wii' — as technologies that foster control over corporeality. New media scholars have examined the politics of embodiment and hybridity as they relate to video games, yet have paid limited attention to the ways in which new gaming technologies might contribute to contemporary systems of 'government', or what Foucault calls the 'conduct of conduct'. Borrowing from influential social theorists, the article argues that, by undergoing what Latour labels 'translation' (by merging with the body), the Wii invokes and reinscribes governmental and post-disciplinary rationalities. The analysis concludes by contending that the Wii might be a particularly influential innovation in risk-based post-disciplinary societies: rather than connecting 'at-risk' subjects to human experts, the Wii functions as an active and autonomous quasi-object risk expert, able to diagnose 'problematic' tendencies and prescribe basic behavioural remedies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-640
Number of pages20
JournalNew Media & Society
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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