Authored by: Mark Hayse

The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415533324
eBook ISBN: 9780203114261
Adobe ISBN: 9781136290510


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Video games possess considerable power to evoke an experience of the transcendent—from the Latin transcendere, literally “to climb beyond.” Simply put, the quest for transcendence is a quest for something more. The study of transcendence deserves a rightful place alongside the study of other psychological, educational, and literary theories at work in video games. Indeed, these theories constitute a rich, conjunctive framework for exploring transcendence within gameplay experience—particularly when brought into dialogue with religious studies. As a research concern, transcendence encompasses certain aspects of religion even as it surpasses religion. In video game studies to date, religion seems underutilized as a framework for inquiry. Of course, the erosion of religion’s relevance stands to reason, following the modernist project of rationalism and empiricism. More recently, however, process philosophy and constructive postmodernism seek to reengage religion as a conversation partner with other disciplines (Griffin, 1988; Slattery, 2013).

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