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The Killability of Fish in The Sims 3: Pets and Stardew Valley
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013). (KuFo)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6170-0666
2018 (English)In: The Computer Games Journal, ISSN 2052-773X, p. 1-8Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article considers video games as procedural arguments on the killability and nonkillability of nonhuman animal species, especially marine animals. It focuses on what acts of violence are made possible in games, and against whom. It argues that shifting the critical perspective from killing to killability allows us to study the implicit violence found in “nonviolent” or “friendly” games that usually garner little controversy. Two games that both set out to avoid animal violence, and even promote animal care, are studied: Maxis’ The Sims 3: Pets (2011) and ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley (2016). The study considers how these games construct a hierarchy of classes of animals that are either included in, or excluded from, the realm of moral concern. Thus, the games are seen as models of how similar hierarchies are created in the real world of so-called “meat culture”. Most significantly, the study demonstrates how fish is a prime example of a class of animals that is removed from the realm of moral concern, even in supposedly ethical and animal-friendly games.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 1-8
Keywords [en]
Killability, Animal violence, Meat in games, Fishing, Procedural rhetoric
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Comparative Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-67315DOI: 10.1007/s40869-018-0055-xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-67315DiVA, id: diva2:1205304
Available from: 2018-05-13 Created: 2018-05-13 Last updated: 2019-06-12Bibliographically approved

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van Ooijen, Erik

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