RND/ To consider the glitches in the videographic reality of team-based, tactical Middle East FPS “Insurgency: Sandstorm” as the very thing preventing it’s radical (ideological) desimulation in the player’s mind:
Nameless locations with nameless conflicts
1920 x 1080 .jpg – screenshots via Steam Community
That is, “The fact that ‘It’s Just A Game (and therefore I can act without consequence or conscience)’ becomes it’s own political reality.” Glitches – emergent errors, unforeseen graphical or physics bugs, discontinuities, inherent ontological gaps between presentation and meaning – all precisely serve not to question the Universe Of Videogames (“The Video Real”) but rather to reinforce the common notion that ‘none of I.T is real – and therefore I don’t have to change my behavior (as a hypercorporate Player-Consumer) in this ideological space’.
And yet despite this state, the uncanny surface strangeness of such images still exists (/albeit conceptually) as a symbolic warning of the true cost paid for public fantasy – ie. the violent dominance of the existence of such ‘Videographic’ fantasies themselves, over and above any actual, daily, as-lived political realities. This is what Jean Baudrillard called the violence of images. When everything is seen, viewed, displayed, seems utterly naked through the fact of its constant and unceasing appearance, life itself becomes entirely virtual – a pose, a bad stage act, an attitude, a pathological stylistic affectation. Today the role of The (/Professional) Gamer has become the only real game in town. Never mind that one can now regularly show one’s true face through proudly displaying one’s public mask of Gamer – say that of a casual mass murderer, government hired killer, soldier of racist war crimes – appearance, the surface void of The Video Real provides all the immunity and impunity one needs. To act as if none of this remotely matters, precisely because it’s (ie. our entire reality-fragment) is already entirely virtual.
Already fatigued through seeing, with hypervisibility we become blind. What seems needed is virtual reality exposure therapy – V.R.E.T. – therapy for exposure to virtual reality. In this sense, videogame images themselves are militarization, weaponization.
// how to play big science