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The Downward Spiral : Postmodern Consciousness as Buddhist Metaphysics in the Dark Souls Video Game Series

Author: Paolo Xavier Machado Menuez
Publisher: [Portland, Or.] : Portland State University, 2017
Dissertation: M.A. Portland State University 2017
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : State or province government publication : eBook   Computer File : English
Summary:
This paper is about locating the meaning of a series of games known as the Dark Souls series in relation to contemporary social conditions in Japan. I argue that the game should be thought of as an emblem of the current cultural zeitgeist, in a similar way one might identify something like Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums as an emblem of the counter cultural 60s. I argue that the Dark Souls series expresses in  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Academic theses
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Paolo Xavier Machado Menuez
OCLC Number: 1046076787
Notes: Title from pdf title page viewed on July 16, 2018.
Description: 1 online resource (vi, 146 pages) : illustrations (some color)
Responsibility: by Paolo Xavier Machado Menuez.

Abstract:

This paper is about locating the meaning of a series of games known as the Dark Souls series in relation to contemporary social conditions in Japan. I argue that the game should be thought of as an emblem of the current cultural zeitgeist, in a similar way one might identify something like Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums as an emblem of the counter cultural 60s. I argue that the Dark Souls series expresses in allegorical form an anxiety about living in a time where the meaning of our everyday actions and even society itself has become significantly destabilized. It does this through a fractured approach to story-telling, that is interspersed with Buddhist metaphysics and wrapped up in macabre, gothic aesthetic depicting the last gasping breath of a once great kingdom. This expression of contemporary social anxiety is connected to the discourse of postmodernity in Japan. Through looking at these games as a feedback loop between text, environment and ludic system, I connect the main conceptual motifs that structure the games as a whole with Osawa Masachi's concept of the post-fictional era and Hiroki Azuma's definition of the otaku.

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