A Transmedia Disco: An Examination of Political Theming Across Text and Genre (74367)

Session Information: Media Studies
Session Chair: Rachel Marie Abreu

Saturday, 23 September 2023 09:30
Session: Session 1
Room: Room B (Live Stream)
Presentation Type:Live-Stream Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

2019’s Disco Elysium garnered its fair share of plaudits – several narrative/writing awards among them – and, for a relatively recent game, much ink has been spilled (or, more appropriately, many pixels have been blackened?) analyzing, praising, and approaching an understanding of this tiny masterpiece. Less well known – or at least, less frequently read – is its predecessor: writer Robert Kurvitz’s Sacred and Terrible Air, Estonian literary-speculative novel, which was quietly published around a decade ago in 2013. It was never officially translated into English, but, for the purposes of this paper, I will be citing an unofficial translation created by a group of anonymous fans using the literary nom de guerre Group Ibex. Both works are thematically interested in both the political and the ideological, and in the cultural complexities created by each – in particular, both works, this paper asserts, revolve around the idea that political ideology functions, more or less, to sublimate and redirect the energy of human kind’s innate violent animal nature: “The part... you want to take home with you is this: you have to beat the other evil apes in the face, or you lose” (Disco Elysium). Through a close reading of both sources, this paper analyzes and comments on the ways the political and cultural themes present within these two works interact with and are enhanced by one another, and – ultimately – argue for the essential superiority of transmedia storytelling when addressing the messy, complex realities of the political realm.

David Carstens, Miami University, United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00