This study addresses the mystery of why sophisticated video game technology, set between chronological incompatibility and the interface of history and myth in the modernist novel, between the medieval quest and the Bildungsroman, has accrued so many truly archaic features of the ancient epic poem, not just of the Nordic sagas and of medieval epic, which are more immediately related, but, in fact, of Homeric epic. Understanding video games as an evolving art form, the essay turns to intertextuality and to Judith Butler’s analysis of “staged interpellation” and performative repetition as inevitable aspects of subversion and resignification. The transmedia reincarnation of epic in video games is thus revealed to testify both to the wounded projectivity of our epoch and to the political wagers of interactivity.
Time in Video Games: Repetitions of the New
miglena nikolchina is a professor of literary theory at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. In English, she has published Lost Unicorns of the Velvet Revolutions: Heterotopias of the Seminar (Fordham, 2013) and Matricide in Language: Writing Theory in Kristeva and Woolf (Other Press, 2004). Her present research is focused on humanist/antihumanist trends in philosophy since the 1960s (“Inverted Forms and Heterotopian Homonymy: Althusser, Mamardashvili, and the Problem of ‘Man’”) and on the artistic and philosophical ramifications of the artificial being.