Futurity as an Effect of Playing Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Nicole Falkenhayner

humanities 2021, 10(2), 72; DOI:10.3390/h1002072

Futurity denotes the quality or state of being in the future. This article explores futurity as an effect of response, as an aesthetic experience of playing a narrative video game. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the ways in which video games are engaged in ecocriticism as an aspect of cultural work invested in the future. In the presented reading of the 2017 video game Horizon: Zero Dawn, it is argued that the combination of the affect creating process of play, in combination with a posthumanist and postnatural plot, creates an experience of futurity, which challenges generic notions of linear temporal progress and of the conventional telos of dystopian fiction in a digital medium. The experience of the narrative video game Horizon Zero Dawn is presented as an example of an aesthetic experience that affords futurity as an effect of playing, interlinked with a reflection on the shape of the future in a posthumanist narrative.

Image source creative commons

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