For That Is Our Curse: How the Dark Souls Games Create an Existential Experience

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Meade, Nash
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
The study of games has often taken the form of visual, communications, and liter- ary theory. In the rapidly emerging field of game studies, however, I believe that a vital aspect of games and what they can teach us has flown under the radar of most formal study: existential philosophy. Games, in being interactive experiences that combine ele- ments of narrative, visual design, and observer involvement, innately create a unique space in which philosophy can be applied and explored, whether it be through the game’s intentional design or unintentional consequence via its medium. The Souls trilogy takes the medium of video games and creates a narrative which can only exist within them, providing the scrupulous observer with a unique existential framework through its insist- ence on difficulty that is worthy of being explored. Through this philosophical analysis, I show that the “philosophy of games” is a worthy study that warrants more academic re- search.
College of Liberal Arts, Game Studies, Philosophy, Existentialism, Dark Souls, Video Games, Ubermensch, Nietzsche, Camus