The Utopia of Apocalypse: Anti-human exceptionalism in Shin Megami Tensei & A critique on the anthropocentric understanding of established notions of utopia in science fiction studies
Zoggel, G.M.A.G. van
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This thesis serves two purposes: to consider philosophical issues through video games and to make its reader aware of the normality that is anthropocentrism or human exceptionalism. Building on the recent interest in animality in animation studies, “The Utopia of the Apocalypse” proposes a Derridean discursive ‘monster,’ theorised through established ideas of monstrosities and contextualised by cyberpunk video game series Shin Megami Tensei, to challenge the established anthropocentric understandings of the concept of utopia. Guided by ontological questions about this discursive ‘monster’ – what is it? how does it work? – this thesis analyses the transgression of the human-nonhuman-machine interface in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey through a conceptual dialogue between the uncanny and techno-intimacy. The process of reading this thesis is intended to be equal to the process domesticating a ‘monster,’ making it a pet and becoming aware of anthropocentrism as a normality.