Wooden Reels and the Maintenance of Virtual Life: Gaming and the Death Drive in a Digital Age

  • Jeffrey Douglas
Keywords: virtual, digital, video game, emulation, simulation, death drive, language, psychoanalysis, trauma, symbolic order


Covering topics that range from violence in children’s literature to the evolution of gore throughout the video game boom (1970s to present), and ending with an analysis of the compulsion to master terror virtually in a post-September 11 world, my paper examines how the drive to play with simulations of death suggests that Sigmund Freud’s theories surrounding the death drive are substantiated in modern digital gaming experiences.