Imitation of what Would and what Did

This blog post will be a closer look at the specifications of tragedy that it should be “an imitation of an action” and follow what would have happened rather than what did happen.

By “imitation”, this does not necessarily mean the literal fictionalising of an event, but rather can be used to indicate an acceptance of play and entering into a magic circle, accepting a series of constructed rules. In this case the Nuzlocke requires that a participant hold themselves to a set of self-imposed rules in addition to those built into the Pokemon game system. In doing so, a participant is not only playing out an imitation of a youth aiming to defeat the Pokemon League and become the greatest trainer of the region, as in any mode of Pokemon gameplay, but is also enforcing an imitation of reality ordinarily filtered out of the games in the form of character death. In this way Nuzlocke Let’s Play videos filmed in real time still qualify as Aristotlian Neo-Tragedy.

Additionally, Aristotle makes a point of stating that, while a poet must place the tragic elements of their text as more important than honest rendering of events (fictionalisation to maintain this isn’t so much welcomed as encouraged), “there is nothing to prevent some of the things which have happened from being the kind of thing which probably would happen”, once again making room for the unaltered events of a let’s play to still qualify. Below is a recent example of the tragifying of events within a co-op series by TheKingNappy and ShadyPenguinn. (Warning not to watch this with earphones on).

I’ve begun work on a Digital Artefact to present as my final project, specifically a Nuzlocke comic of my own play experience, which will come with an accompanying essay to connect it to significant Cyberculture theories. The first page of the comic, as an example of what should be expected of the final product, is included below.

Comets pg1

One thought on “Imitation of what Would and what Did”

  1. Firstly, I love your development on this project. Your writing is concise and the engagement of cyberculture concepts is well done, but it would be better supported with references to your other post (hyperlinks). [I spent a few re-reads trying to uncover what a Nuzlocke was and why it was setting rules.]

    The conceptualisation of your experience in your comic brought to my attention text and whose voice was narrating the experience. I’m not sure how Nuzlocke’s comic approached this but I was curious as to whether the character in your comic was enacting out your actions (Robot); a representation of you (Avatar); or an autonomous game character (AI)? Do they know that they’re playing a game with rules, do they know you’re controlling them, and do they know it’s a comic being read?

    To follow your thoughts – who is the comic protagonist imitating, and can they contain multiple personalities? This perspective reminded me of how Deadpool comics are structured through texts, containing at least 3 separate voices narrating the plot. NerdSync and Idea Channel did two great pieces on the psychology and the management behind this text structure.

    Idea Channel:

    It would be fantastic to see you experiment with this approach in relation to Cybercultures. I.e. the protagonist embodies an ‘AI/Robot/Avatar/Person/?’.

    Liked by 1 person

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