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Narratology in Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid Franchise

The following is an essay originally written and submitted for grading in November of 2015. Nothing has been changed.

As a narrative art form, video games have many options at their disposal that other narrative art forms do not. From direct control of the characters, to unparalleled hypertext, video games can create narratives unlike any other. To this end, no one in video games has proven this more than Hideo Kojima and his Metal Gear Solid franchise. Kojima is the creator, writer, and director of the Metal Gear Solid games, and has solidified his auteurship through the franchise’s use of unique narrative devices not found in video games, as well as being the originator of post-modern video games. Kojima’s style is so important to the series, because it is the very essence of Metal Gear Solid. Apart from being the mind behind Metal Gear Solid’s creation, Kojima is responsible for the unique narrative devices that the franchise utilizes throughout its existence. So, what are the narrative devices used in the Metal Gear Solid video game series, how are they implemented, and what is their significance to the game and its narrative?

Asking anyone that has played through 1998’s Metal Gear Solid will say that the boss fight with Psycho Mantis, enemy super-soldier with psychic powers, is the most memorable moment in the game. Many will also claim that it is one of the most memorable, important, and best boss fights in all of video games, and that is for good reason. Psycho Mantis, as his name implies and was mentioned earlier, possess psychic powers. But rather than simply tell you through dialogue, Kojima creates game mechanics to show you. Psycho Mantis routinely breaks the fourth wall, and he begins his psychic demonstration by telling the player to set their controller on the floor, claiming he will move it with his mind. What follows is the game simply activating the rumble motors in the controller, but a neat trick none the less. However, this is just the beginning of Psycho Mantis’ display of psychic prowess. Next, Psycho Mantis will claim he can read the mind of the player, which is achieved by scanning the memory card in the system for any other games published by Konami, the publisher of Metal Gear Solid. If there are any such games, Psycho Mantis will talk about them to the player. This breaking of the fourth wall really pushed the narrative boundary of video games, especially considering this happened in 1998, a time when dedicated memory devices were new to video games. Kojima was thinking beyond traditional game design and narrative when both of those concepts were still in their infancy. But what is truly amazing, is that Kojima did not stop there with Psycho Mantis’ narrative.

Everything that was mentioned earlier happens upon first meeting Psycho Mantis, and it is not until the fight with him starts that Kojima really gets inventive. The period in which Metal Gear Solid released it was common for TVs to have an input mode called “video.” This input mode, when selected, is a black screen with the word “VIDEO” in the top left corner in green. During the fight with Psycho Mantis, your screen will occasionally revert to a screen extremely similar to this, the only difference being the green word in the corner reads “Hideo,” after the game’s creator. The first few times this happens it is easy for the player to think that their system has been unplugged from the TV, but it is all part of the boss battle, and a narrative device to further prove Psycho Mantis’ abilities. He can change your TV input at will, or unplug the system from the TV. If Kojima has not already created narrative devices wholly unique to video games, and made players believe that Psycho Mantis’ powers are real, he surely will with Psycho Mantis’ final psychic trick.

As with any classic video game boss battle, figuring out how to damage them and defeat them is key, but with Psycho Mantis players will eventually realize nothing they do hurts him, and that is for good reason: he can read the player’s mind, as he demonstrated earlier. Players will shoot, throw grenades, dodge attacks, and battle with the “HIDEO” screen, only to realize nothing they do depletes Psycho Mantis’ health bar. The trick to beating Psycho Mantis is another narrative device, that Kojima created, and requires players to think about games in a way that decades of video games have taught us not to. Plugging the controller from port 1 into port 2 is how players defeat Psycho Mantis. When player 2 fights him, Psycho Mantis cannot read their mind. For decades, video games have taught players that the keys to success are utilizing the skills you have learned/acquired up until that point, but Kojima’s design says otherwise, and not just that, but it is a genius method to create authenticity in the narrative. To answer the opening question, the narrative devices used for Psycho Mantis is breaking the fourth wall, but doing so in a way only video games can. Kojima implements it through a cutscene, as well as creating gameplay mechanics around the fourth wall, and it is significance is crucial to the character of Psycho Mantis, as well as creating a believable narrative around him. What is more is that Psycho Mantis becomes a key figure in later a later Metal Gear Solid game, as well as a prequel. Without Kojima making use of the fourth wall and creating these mechanics and narrative devices, Psycho Mantis would not be the anchor in the narrative that he is.

Psycho Mantis is not the only boss fight with interesting narrative devices built into the mechanics in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004) introduces a character called The End. Over 100-years-old, The End is a wheelchair-bound sniper with photosynthetic abilities, which allow him to live in a comatose-like state, saving his energy for combat scenarios. Like Psycho Mantis before him, Kojima creates a non-traditional game mechanic centered on creating a believable narrative for The End. Of course, players can engage The End in a traditional boss battle, but there are two other options for defeating him. The first does not lend itself in creating a believable narrative for The End. There is a brief moment where The End is in the same area as the player, but is being wheeled into another room. If players are fast enough, they can equip a sniper rifle and gun him down from afar, ceasing the boss battle that normally occurs later in the game. The next method continues the creativity of the Psycho Mantis boss fight, albeit to a lesser extent.

It is important to note that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released on the PlayStation 2, while Metal Gear Solid was on the original PlayStation. With the new technologies introduced with the PlayStation 2, came new ways for Kojima to push the boundary of video games. One of these new technologies is an internal system clock. This may seem inconsequential to The End, but it is entirely appropriate. As previously mentioned, The End is over 100-years-old and conserves his energy for combat. If players start the boss fight against The End, save their game, and do not play for a week The End will die of old age. Alternatively, players can follow the same steps, but instead of not play for a week, players can manually set their system clock ahead a week he will still die of old age. Kojima, again, uses the fourth wall in a way that has never been done before and is wholly unique to video games to create a more believable narrative. Telling players that a character is over 100-years-old is one thing, but to incorporate that key character point into gameplay is something else. It can be argued that, although players are not actively engaged in playing the game, the discourse time it takes to get back to and fight The End, has a direct effect on story time. To this end, Kojima is, once again, successful at not just creating a narrative device, but creating one unique to his medium, as well as making it impactful to the narrative of the game.

Kojima does not limit his game’s unique narrative devices to boss battles, however, as he utilizes more conventional narrative devices in his games as well. When discussing narrative devices in Kojima’s series the codec cannot go unmentioned. Throughout the majority of the games in the Metal Gear Solid series, the codec is where much of the narrative unfolds. The codec is a radio section of the game. The only control the player has is to skip what is being said entirely, or skip to the next few words. In the codec sequences, there are subtitles, the radio frequency, and the images of the characters talking on screen. During codec sequences it is common for characters to inform the player of other frequencies they can use, usually it is a frequency of another character you can contact via codec. Most codec sequences deliver important plot lines, advancing the narrative. However, any time the player has control they can call people via the codec to get hints about what to do next in the game, background information on characters, or even in some instances talk about real movies. The codec is one of three layers in Metal Gear Solid’s narrative delivery. The primary being the gameplay, followed by traditional video game cutscenes -- which are reminiscent of film, and lastly the codec. The pacing of any good narrative is as important as anything else, and that is what makes the codec important. Gameplay sections are full of tension and action, cutscenes allow the player to breathe but are still often exciting, and the codec exists to slow everything down and allow the player an opportunity to completely relax. The codec’s importance is undeniable to the narrative, and overall pacing of the game, and while the codec is a unique and inventive way to break up the flow of the game, on the surface it is hardly the groundbreaking idea players would expect from Kojima.

Codec sequences add to Kojima’s aura as an auteur, but what he does with them is what solidifies codecs as a product of Kojima. Kojima first introduced the idea of codecs in 1987’s Metal Gear, but it was not until Metal Gear Solid that Kojima really played with them. As previously mentioned, characters will often tell you the frequencies of other character’s codecs, however, there is an exception. There comes a point in the game where players need to contact a character to progress the game, but the player is never told that character’s codec frequency. The lack of information on this particular frequency is not boundless either, as the frequency is to a rogue agent not associated with the player or their support staff in any matter. There are three ways to go about getting this frequency. The first is the most time consuming. Players can call the hundreds of frequencies in the game until they contact the person they are searching for. This is obviously an awful game design decision, but it is not the implied means of contact. The next is how the frequency is meant to be acquired. On the back of the game case one of the screenshots is of a codec sequence with that character, and as previously mentioned, codec sequences feature the frequency on screen. The final method is, obviously, check the internet, but there is no fun in that. Kojima uses the paratext of the game case as a key element in progressing the narrative. Nothing about the paratext of the Metal Gear Solid case is unique, it is extremely standard for video games at that time. Forcing players to look at the paratext to complete the game, however, is still something that has not been done outside of Metal Gear Solid.

Kojima continues to play with the codec as a narrative device in 2001’s Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. During the final section of the game, the player gets what appears to be a routine call, only this time Colonel Campbell, who has been guiding the player this entire time, is behaving strangely. Campbell starts saying things that make absolutely no sense, such as, “I hear it’s amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork—does a raw blink on Hara-kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!” The most eerie of these codec calls is when he says, “turn the game console off right now… Don’t worry, it’s a game! It’s a game just like usual.” This codec call continues telling the player that they are sitting too close to the TV, as well as having played for too long. The events of this codec call are due to an AI malfunction that happens within the narrative of the game. Using the game’s narrative to directly address the player in their home is definitely unsettling, but a unique way to deliver the narrative. The codec calls are another excellent implementation of Kojima’s narrative devices continuing to succeed in delivering a narrative in unique ways that add to its authenticity.

On the subject of Metal Gear Solid 2’s AI malfunction, the game over screen cannot go unmentioned. During this same segment, the players will be visited by the game’s game over screen, the only difference is that the player can continue to play. In Metal Gear Solid 2, the game over screen will shrink down the gameplay screen of the player, and continue to show the enemies attack the corpse of the player. The words “game over” appear, as well as options to continue or exit. During the AI malfunction segment of the game, this same screen appears, but the player never dies and retains full control over their character. During this event, players must briefly play the game on a small screen. The first time players experience this it is common for them to assume they did something wrong, give up, and then die as a result, earning themselves the real game over screen. Like the strange codec calls, Kojima successfully instills to the player that there has been an AI malfunction in the game’s narrative, by making them believe that the game itself is malfunctioning

While all of the examples that have been mentioned so far have been extreme, Kojima does make more subtle attempts at making a convincing narrative. First introduce in Metal Gear Solid 2, Kojima has allowed the players to adjust the camera during cutscenes. Players are allowed to pan around scenes in varying degrees, zoom into shots, and occasionally get a first person perspective from the protagonist’s point of view. While this may not seem like much, it offers a lot of unique information that the default camera angles do not show. One of the weaker examples being the first person perspective. In Metal Gear Solid 3, the player is often offered the perspective of the protagonist when he meets female characters. The protagonist frequently stares at their chests, which offers no narrative value, but does clue in the player that the protagonist can be viewed as a womanizer, which is an homage to the fictional character of James Bond, who is a great influence on one of the protagonists in Metal Gear Solid. Panning the camera in Metal Gear Solid 3 will often show players the character called The Sorrow taunting the player. The Sorrow can also be seen in certain first person sequences, but not during the standard camera placement. The Sorrow can be seen taunting the player, as well as cluing them in on the narrative. What is unique about this is that the protagonist in the game does not see the sorrow during these sequences, and any clues that are seen are exclusively for the player, so occasionally the player will have more information about the narrative than the characters within. Like many of the narrative devices Kojima created and used, these are something that can only be done in video games. While reading a book, readers cannot alter the narrative, or during a movie, movie watchers can only see what the director chooses. Video games allow the player to see what the director chooses or in cases like this, what they want to see. Not all of these camera choices are profound, but there are a few that Kojima places in his games that can alter the way the narrative is experienced.

There are many narrative devices that Kojima uses and even creates in his games. Many of which were not even touched on, as three other main series Metal Gear Solid games went unmentioned. However, the tried and true are present throughout, but Kojma’s willingness to try and tell stories in a unique way makes his video games something that cannot be replicated. He is mostly successful in his unique attempts, and when he is successful, it is wildly entertaining. Kojima carefully implements these devices where they work best and really add a layer of believability to his narrative. Kojima carefully shows his audience his story in unique ways, rather than tells it, which is something his contemporaries fail to accomplish nearly twenty years after he first found success in doing so.

Works Cited

Abbott’s The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative

Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater


Player Agency as a Narrative Device in From Software’s Bloodborne

The following is an essay originally written and submitted for grading in November of 2015. Nothing has been changed.

Video games rarely deviate from traditional modes of storytelling. Contemporary video games tend to follow a cutscene-gameplay-cutscene method to deliver their stories, with the occasional, yet far less important, story being added during gameplay segments. These narrative devices are far from new or unique, but occasionally a video game will release that challenges storytelling in the medium. One such video game is From Software’s Bloodborne. Bloodborne is an offshoot of From Software’s Souls franchise, which pioneered the narrative devices and storytelling means found in Bloodborne, which uses player agency to tell its story. Bloodborne and the Souls franchise may be formulaic, but Bloodborne continues the Souls franchise’s narrative innovation in the medium of video games through its visual storytelling, which is, again, entirely reliant on player choice.

Few video games have acted on evolving the narrative devices and storytelling mechanics that exist in the medium. Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid franchise pioneered the narrative formula found in almost every video game since stories became part of the experience, which is gameplay, cutscene, repeat, but there has been little change since then. Bloodborne follows this formula, but at the same time makes it mean almost nothing to the player. For example, the introduction cutscene is viewed from the first-person, in which a decrepit old man is talking to, as well as performing a blood transfusion, on the player-character, whose eyes the player sees from. The old man talks to the player about “pale blood” and once the transfusion starts assures the player that, “Whatever happens… You may think it all a mere bad dream.” Once the player awakens, a wolf-like creature materializes from a pool of blood, only to be ignited in flames. Following this, small ghastly creatures climb onto the player, the screen fades to black, and the game begins in the room in which this cutscene takes place. Following the cutscene, players will, as video games have trained them for decades, attempt to make sense of the events, but will be unable to. The delivery of this cutscene is very typical of videogames, but the delivery in this instance is not important. What is important is the details of the event, which do not become clear to the player until much later in the game, if ever, as the narrative is only apparent to the most astute players. Bloodborne continues to provide cutscenes similar in nature to the player throughout the game. The cutscenes are seemingly unrelated to one another, and ultimately build up to nothing, if they are the only narrative followed by the player. This characteristic is what makes Bloodborne unique. The cutscenes, which have become a staple of video game narratives, are nothing more than an aid to the true narrative of the game hidden in the game’s menus.

Like all narratives, Bloodborne is open to interpretation, especially since what is on the surface seems so lacking. Bloodborne is one of the first video games that can be classified as a hypertext fiction. To understand the world of Yharnam, the world in which the player navigates, the descriptions of items must be read in the game. Different weapons will tell you about those that wielded them prior to the player. Armor sets detail which factions used them and why. Players must step outside of the game world, and into the menus of Bloodborne to begin to grasp what is happening in Yharnam. Bloodborne is not the first video game to make use of hypertext to enrich the world that the players explore, but it is the first to make the hypertext a necessity to fully understand the story. Upon reading item descriptions in the game players may finally start to piece together the manic narrative found in the game’s cutscenes. But upon doing this players will still find gaps present throughout Bloodborne’s narrative, and that is for good reason, as Bloodborne’s story is found in more than just cutscenes and the hypertext of item descriptions.

Bloodborne possesses a silent narrator that can only exist in video games. The world of Yharnam tells as much of Bloodborne’s story as any item description or cutscene. The reason it is said that this can only exist in video games is because of player agency. The player has direct control of the camera, and to a lesser degree, where they can or cannot go. In film the director chooses what the audience sees, in music the musician chooses what the audience hears, in literature the author chooses what the reader reads. Video games grant their audience unparalleled freedom. As the player progresses through Bloodborne they will come across notes that give insight to the characters mentioned in the hypertext and found in the cutscenes. The more astute players will also progress the narrative by paying careful attention to their surroundings. The buildings, locations, statues, and debris that litter the world of Yharnam serve as more than where the player currently is, as they fill in many of the gaps left from the hypertext and cutscenes. As previously mentioned, other works of fiction limit the audience to what the creator wants them to see. Bloodborne allows its players to see as much or as little as they’d like, which has a direct correlation with the presentation of the narrative, and this is what sets Bloodborne apart in video games narratives. This function is wholly unique to video games, and is due entirely to player agency.

Player agency as a narrative device is interesting within Bloodborne for a few particular reasons. Players have the choice to explore as much of Bloodborne’s narrative as they wish, as well as change it at times. The final gap in Bloodborne’s narrative is found in the game’s optional, somewhat hidden “Chalice Dungeons.” The Chalice Dungeons are dungeons that are not connected to the games main quest, but are necessary in understanding the game’s entire narrative. This play on agency can leave many players finding the games ending unsatisfying or incomplete, only to realize the optional side dungeons were crucial to the game’s narrative. On the subject of player agency and the game’s ending, Bloodborne presents the player with a choice at the end of the game. However, it should be noted that the player has many choices during the game that affect the narrative, including but not limiting to killing non-player characters or rescuing them. The final sequence of the game players have two choices: Submit their life or refuse. This is another play on player agency, as what the player chooses determines the outcome of the narrative, similar to that of a choose-your-own-adventure book.

Bloodborne relies on narrative devices that can only exist in video games to tell its story. The overarching theme that is prevalent throughout Bloodborne is agency. It is up to the players how much of the narrative they receive. Players decide if they read the hypertext, they decide if they explore the Chalice Dungeons, players decide how much of Yharnam they actually look at, and players even decide if they watch the cutscenes or not. Everything in Bloodborne is optional, but crucial. Like any good narrative, Bloodborne will require a few playthroughs to really understand and appreciate the narrative that is presented.

Works cited

Abbott, H. Porter. The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. Print.

Kojima, Hideo. Metal Gear Solid. Https:// Konami Digital Entertainment, 21 Oct. 1998. Disc.

Miyazaki, Hidetaka. Bloodborne. Sony Computer Entertainment, 24 Mar. 2015. Digital.

Miyazaki, Hidetaka. Demon's Souls. Atlus U.S.A., 5 Feb. 2009. Disc.


Freudian Concepts and Video Games

The following is an essay originally written and submitted for grading in September of 2012. Nothing has been changed.

Technology has advanced exponentially since Sigmund Freud’s last idea was written, and now Freudian concepts are being applied to much more than psychology. Literature has become a forefront for the use of Freud’s psychoanalysis, and with the evolution of technology Freud’s ideas are being applied to television, movies, and video games. Freud’s ideas were originally crafted to further understand the human mind, but his ideas are smoothly transitioned into the world of video games.

Freud is notorious for many things; one of his most noteworthy works is The Uncanny. Unbeknownst to Freud, his ideas presented in The Uncanny would adapt to a technology that did not exist at the time of writing it. That leads one to ponder what is the uncanny, and how can it apply to video games. In The Uncanny, Freud writes, “the ‘uncanny’ is that class of terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar.” (1-2). The idea of the uncanny translates excellently to video games, as contemporary video games are set in a familiar location with familiar characters, but put the player in extraordinary situations which are often terrifying, depending on the perspective of the player. Freud states that when he wrote, “In the Herodotus story our thoughts are concentrated much more on the superior cunning of the master-thief than on the feelings of the princess. The princess may well have had an uncanny felling, indeed she very probably fell into a swoon; but we have no such sensations, for we put ourselves in the thief’s place, not in hers.” (19). Freud is saying the uncanny does not just exist because of something familiar, yet terrifying. The perspective of the player is very much a factor when considering if a work is uncanny. There is no genre of video games which showcases this more than that of survival-horror.

Survival-horror games are renowned for taking the mundane and breathing a horrifying new life into it. Ewan Kirkland writes about this in his piece Horror Videogames and the Uncanny. Kirkland describes the town of Silent Hill from the video game of the same name to display Freud’s uncanny when he wrote, “It is a place of white picket fenced houses and corner cafes, motels, petrol stations, apartment blocks and parks… A key dynamic of Silent Hill is the shift from this ordinary space to a dark doppelganger other world where walls become covered in dirt and rust, floors are transformed into rotting scaffolding” (3). As Kirkland wrote, Silent Hill is designed to be something wholly familiar to the player, but changes itself into a place of nightmares, thus completing its transformation into the uncanny. Kirkland’s article provides evidence of the uncanny in survival-horror games’ architecture, but the uncanny lives in more than just the settings, it is also in the characters and monsters.

Survival-horror games are compelling for many reasons, as stated earlier, the settings provide the uncanny to survival horror games, but there is more to it than just where the games take place. The uncanny is reliant on perspective; therefore playing the game through the perspective of one who is unfamiliar with the world and creatures around them allows the uncanny to exist within the game. Metro 2033 is a game that does this better than most. Giving the player control of Artyom, a person who has lived their entire life in the Russian metro and thrusting him into the heart of a post-apocalyptic Moscow, having only the familiarity of pictures of how Moscow used to look is the definition of uncanny. Even as the player, knowing how Moscow looks in comparison to the ruins presented in the game is uncanny on top the uncanny from Artyom’s perspective. But the creatures in the world of Metro 2033 present the uncanny far better than the setting. Due to nuclear war, the creatures that live on the surface and are exposed to radiation are familiar, yet monstrous. The most common presented in the game are reminiscent of a common rat, but the size of two men, and much fiercer. Metro 2033 focuses on animal like mutants as the one mentioned above, but the most ominous are the Dark Ones. The Dark Ones are humanoid in appearance, but whenever Artyom comes into contact with them he experiences hallucinations. It is evident that survival-horror games present Freud’s uncanny in every way, from the settings to creatures, but that is not the only genre of video games that support Freud’s ideas.

Condensation is an idea Freud presents in his book The Interpretation of Dreams, which can also be applied to video games, much like the uncanny. Condensation is the idea that no matter how much a work is analyzed it will never be fully interpreted, this is evident as Freud wrote, “If a dream is written out it may perhaps fill half a page. The analysis setting out the dream-thoughts underlying it may occupy six, eight or a dozen times as much space… I have already had occasion to point out that it is in fact never possible to be sure that a dream has been completely interpreted.” (296-297). Freud’s psychoanalysis and condensation has been applied to literature, allowing infinite ways to uncover the hidden meaning of a text, and there is no reason it cannot be applied to video games. Contemporary video games focus heavily on the story, often having a script lengthier than that of movies and novels, which allows Freudian psychoanalysis to be applied to them.

Author Arthur Asa Berger also believes Freud can be applied to video games, as he wrote in his book Video Games: A Popular Culture Phenomenon. Berger wrote, “His notion that play and dreams might be related opens up video games, I would suggest, to the same kinds of analysis Freud made of dreams. There are often, let me suggest, deeper meanings to these games than we might imagine.” (12.) The Metal Gear Solid video game franchise, for example, is a stealth game about a global nuclear arms race. But upon further interpretation one could discover limitless ideas and meanings in the game. For instance, the focus on stealth gameplay, and non-lethal means of dispatching the opposition in Metal Gear Solid could be interpreted as means of peace, instead of violence in a world focused on war. It could also be interpreted as an unconscious vision the series creator has about the way the world is going. With ever increasing violence and war in the news, it is extremely possible the creator unconsciously put how he predicts the future into his games. Condensation allows those who play video games to come up with an unlimited number of meanings hidden within games.

Bob Rehak, author of chapter 5, Playing at Being Psychoanalysis and the Avatar, in the book The Video Game Theory Reader made a connection to Freud’s fort / da game from Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Rehak wrote, “the game of fort / da in which an object that ‘stands in’ for a lost and desired other is repeatedly tossed away, retrieved, and tossed again.” (8). Rehak is making the argument of fort / da is similar to repetition found in video games, more specifically that avatar one plays as. In video games one can die frequently, but they can always return and continue playing the game. Having constantly being taken out of the game world via dying, one will want to continue returning, such as fort / da explains.

It is clear that Freud’s ideas are easily applicable to technology far beyond his imagining from the time he thought of them. Video games can be interpreted through psychoanalysis as easily as literature is. Video games, books and movies will continue to be analyzed and discussed using Freud’s ideas and practices. As technology advances it is certain that new means of storytelling will be created, much like video games were, and perhaps Freud’s ideas will still apply.

Berger, Arthur Asa. Video Games: A Popular Culture Phenomenon. New Brunswick, NJ:

Transaction, 2002. Print.

Freud, Sigmund, and James Strachey. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. New York: Norton, 1989.


Freud, Sigmund, and James Strachey. The Interpretation of Dreams. New York: Basic, 2010.


Freud, Sigmund. "The "Uncanny"" MIT, n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2012.


Kirkland, Ewan. "Horror Videogames and the Uncanny." Kingston University, n.d.

Web. 30 Aug. 2012. <>.

Rehak, Bob. "Playing at Being: Psychoanalysis and the Avatar." The Video Game Theory

Reader. By Mark J. P. Wolf and Bernard Perron. New York: Routledge, 2003. N. pag. Print.

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