For anyone who missed the previous references, this past semester I took a course in the Gothic novel. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot of things about the beginnings of the fantasy genre — as the Gothic genre is typically viewed. I just happened to be taking in all of Pontifus’ attempts at video game theory as our final paper proposals were due, and I sent my professor two viable options: the alteration of mad scientists through time and what that reflects about their culture, and the Gothic in survival horror video games.
Obviously, given the context of this blog, we decided on the latter. Specifically, my professor told me the former option sounded good — for a dissertation — and that I might want to consider going with the other one. So I did. Some of the results of this process showed up on Super Fanicom already. I may post a kind of summary, at least of some of the paper’s parts, at some point in the future. I actually want to field the paper to journals and conferences, though, so I can’t put the entire thing up — and it’s about fifteen pages anyway, who among you would be willing to read it all?
This is probably the most important moment in the list for me — that is, for my development. I had myth criticism on my side already, but I was beginning to think, over the course of this year, that it wasn’t quite enough, but I didn’t have much else to go on in terms of literary theory “schools.” Going on my professor’s suggestions, I discovered phenomenology (see earlier link). Now, I don’t know if I’m going to be a terrible, hybrid mythic-phenomenologist for the rest of my days, but it kicked me in the pants, if you will.
If you’re curious about my topic, at least, it ran like this: I explained video games through phenomenology, then looked at how Resident Evil and Silent Hill are Gothic, the synthesized the two sections by claiming that the concerns of the contemporary Gothic are played out better in video games than in most prose fiction, because of the phenomenological edge the gaming environment provides (Hint: it’s all Freudian). I’m also particularly proud of the title: “Press ‘A’ to Go Through the Dark and Scary Door.”