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Time, perception and altered states of consciousness in "Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth"
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Information Systems and Project Management.
2007 (English)Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

Showing transitions between different states of consciousness, using sound and image, is an effective tool for creating a particular kind of narrative immersion. One might argue that conveying the inner state of a protagonist in a novel is purely a matter of skill with words and phrases, whereas with visual, aural and tactile technology at hand, storytelling has become a more intricate process.

This paper will investigate a game text that illustrates Bergsonian notions of time, movement and affect through the sonic portrayal of altered states of consciousness. The example is Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (2005), a digital game in the "survival horror" genre that exhibits temporal and spatial anomalies during certain segments of first-person gameplay. What is interesting about this text is that it has a sonic trigger unlocking the transition into the realm of postmodern temporal and spatial flux, and its succeeding connection with the realm of the virtual, or potential. In other words, it shows manifestations of altered states of mind that are brought on by stress. To map out the postmodern and metaphysical conditions under which these transitions occur, the theories regarding time, perception and movement outlined by Henri Bergson in Matter and Memory (1911) are the most useful. His theories have subsequently influenced French theorist Gilles Deleuze is concept of the timeimage. These concepts, together with Brian Massumi's theories on affect in Parables of the Virtual (2002) provide a comprehensive theoretical framework for an expanded Bergsonian philosophy of time, movement and affect

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Information Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-24903OAI: diva2:598674
Digital Games: Theory and Design postgraduate conference, London, UK
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-01-22

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Thorén, Claes
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Department of Information Systems and Project Management
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