Artificial Humanity in Journey: An autoethnographic analysis on the cooperative elements in Journey
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This research aims to make sense and define the cooperative relationship that is created between players in the game Journey. Journey hides the identity and most other human signifiers of the other players in your game world, which in turn creates an ambiguity on what exactly this other entity you are playing with is. Players do not get told they are playing with other people, and through this lack of specificity the interpretation of those entities is left to the minds of the players. This relationship will be analyzed using theory presented by Sherry Turkle on human computer interaction and how we as people are able to personify technology and other computational entities. As well as theory by Katherine Isbister on how we can form meaningful play experiences through playing together and overcoming certain challenges. A phenomenological lens will be used to interpret the existence of these companions and will illuminate how the game recontextualizes the anthropocentric viewpoint through which we as people have historically viewed all things by limiting in game player interactions. To gain insights on this inquiry an autoethnographic analysis in accordance to the ideas presented by Leon Anderson will be conducted to gain an introspective view on the construction of this unusual bond between players. This autoethnography will be conducted in conjunction with a textual analysis as suggested by Clara Fernández-Vara to gain a better understanding of the mechanical building blocks through which the studied relationships are made possible. This analysis argues that Journey, with its creation of a different kind of interaction between players in video games and through the ambiguity with which it uses human identifiers, can be interpreted through the prism of the next evolution of man within the contexts of human computer interactions.