Affect at Play: Politics via Videogames


  • Sara Shamdani York University


This paper sets out to examine affect as a theoretical framework in the discussion of cognitive and pedagogical potentials of videogames. Using two social justice-focused videogames: 1000 Days of Syria, and This War of Mine, I illustrate the aesthetic and affective qualities which set videogames apart from any other mode of cultural communication. This medium challenges and breaks down the boundaries of the body/the player in order to visibilize forces, sensations and intensities that were otherwise impossible to perceive. I will particularly draw on the works of Gilles Deleuze and his analysis on the ability of art to turn the body into a zone of indiscernability wherein the potentials for becoming and formations of new relationalities are made possible. I explore the ways in which such aesthetic creations disrupt normative thinking and act as a point of rupture in our understanding of politics and question the multiplicity of truth.