From GunPlay to GunPorn

A techno-visual history of the first-person shooter

"In this paper, I intend to examine how a recent fist person shooter, Criterion's BLACK (2006) articulates these different components. By juxtaposing the game within the broader range of cultural artifacts, the aesthetical and phenomenological implications of the first person shooter will be discussed. Specifically, I will argue that the first-person shooter represents the last step in a long history of mediated gunplay, a history that begins with the emergence of the photographic medium in the 19th century. At the same time, I will try to explain how and why the first-person shooter emerged as a key genre of digital gaming, and why it holds such a prominent place in the menu of leisure activities that we all choose from."

By Matteo Bittanti

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