University of Tampere
Doctoral researcher Marleena Huuhka (T7) – Towards a Material Politics of Intensity
6.2.2016 14:15

Towards a Material Politics of Intensity – Mimetic, Virtual and Anarchistic Assemblages of Becoming-Non-Human/Machine in Video Games

My doctoral thesis examines Minecraft and other such building games as material, mimetic, virtual, nomadic and anarchistic performance rhizomes and locations of becoming-something created in cooperation with human and non-human agencies. Human agents involved are for example human players, human spectators and human game designers. Non-human agents include game devices, pixels, electricity, programming language, game avatars and virtual game environments.

My research reflects, among other things, on the following questions:
• What kind of materialistic co-agencies and mimetic/virtual places of production and becoming are created through the game play?
• In what kind material and virtual rhizomes, assemblages and processes of becoming-something the player engages while playing?
• What kind of possibilities of anarchistic counterplay open up before the nomad travelling in game intensities?

The aim of my research is to deconstruct the subject-object dichotomy between human and non-human agents. In virtual game performances non-human agents participate in the production of the performances together with the human player. The avatars movements, though orchestrated by human hands, are the results of human/non-human cooperation. The performance is thus constructed in a shared process of different yet equally important agents. My claim is that in this process the human agent merges into a greater agential ensemble of non-human quality.

My supervisors are Dr. Riku Roihankorpi (University of Tampere, T7) and Dr. Hanna Wirman (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University). My supervisors work together in Devising Games Education Network, which consists of the three higher education institutions located in Tampere – University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences – and two Chinese partner organizations, City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University of China. My doctoral thesis is a part of this collaboration.

Marleena Huuhka
Doctoral researcher, T7, CMT, University of Tampere