Third paper accepted for publication!
The voice group’s third paper, entitled “Creepiness and the Uncanny Valley,” has been accepted for publication in the scholarly journal of Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture. The paper integrates the humanistic and social scientific literatures on creepiness and the uncanny, which have looked at these experiential phenomena in very different ways. Please look for the published article, which also covers vocal creepiness, in an upcoming issue. The authors of the paper are Jens Kjeldgaard-Christiansen and Mathias Clasen.
Abstract: This article examines how vocal performances of characters can contribute to sociocritical storytelling in video games. We argue that the vocal performances of video game characters--and in particular their accents--can “fill in” the fictional story worlds of video games through associations to real people and places. These associations allow video games to evoke such social themes as are connected with accent, including privilege, conflict, class, and ethnicity. So evoked, these themes can then be critically examined. We apply this perspective in a sociolinguistic analysis of Disco Elysium, an expansive role-playing game in which the characters’ vocal performances come to support the player’s sociomoral orientation in the game world. Finally, we discuss a result of our analysis that runs counter to previous scholarship, namely that vocal stereotyping can serve to enhance, rather than to undermine, the player’s critical apprehension of game worlds.