Comedy of Contingency: Making and Capturing of Physical Comedy in Video Game Spaces

Speaker  Jaroslav Švelch

Host  Mary Gray

Affiliation  Charles University

Duration  01:00:03

Date recorded  5 December 2012

Although mediated humor is pervasive in our media cultures, media studies have largely glossed over the role of technology in the process of making humor. This talk will focus on the genre of gameplay mischief video – the video montages of physical humor captured or staged in the simulated spaces of video games. Based on close reading of videos from three contemporary 3D action titles and interviews with the makers of these videos, it will argue that this vein of humor arises from the interaction between the player and the game and that the capacity of games to generate unexpected and contingent events is instrumental to this process. Looking at this kind of humor can provides an understanding of how players experience the inconsistencies, uncertainties and errors in video games and digital media.

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