Phenomenal Bodies and the End of Being

Phenomenology suggests that as humans we know the world via experience, only able to receive and decode and comprehend information about the world around us through sensation. In a weird way we are simultaneously creating and perceiving the world around us as we potter about. Like that scene from Inception at the cafe.

Catharsis relies on an empathetic bond between audience/actor/character/events, projecting yourself into a character’s position and in return being projected upon. In a sense you become that character in your sensational, phenomenal body, taking on their experiences and sensations as your own.

So when we start to think about things this way, our definition of self begins to stretch and change. If experience and sensation are how we define “being”ness, then where does identity end in the Nuzlocke making and story sharing process? Who is the who? Is it the protagonist of a Nuzlocke comic (for example) that is, within the text, actually undergoing the experiences? Is it the comic’s creator, playing the game and encountering these events through it? Is it the Avatar provided for you to play as by the Pokemon game, enacting all of the player’s decisions within the game coding? Or is it even the audience who read and via a cathartic emotional purging, experience those same sensations for themselves? Who is the self? Where does the phenomenal body, the psychic double and experiential reality end?

Working on a Nuzlocke comic as a Digital Artefact for my final project, it’s weird to start thinking about who this character I’m drawing is, and whether she’s me, an alternate me, an extension of myself via the phenomenal, or even just a being of her own, experiencing and creating her reality in her own right… Things are getting wibbly wobbly, man.

5 thoughts on “Phenomenal Bodies and the End of Being

  1. This is a really interesting way to think of character development. In your last paragraph where you consider who your character actually is, I couldn’t help but thinking that perhaps, whoever the character is, is dependent on the reader and how they interpret the story, as you said, via the phenomenal.
    This project is getting really deep, so good!

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  2. When I think about philosophy I usually just think about simple shit that people try to complicate for no particular reason, other than trying to confuse the reader into seeing the subject from so many different angles that someone eventually thinks they understand – but they already understood. However, because this is fiction, I’m all for it. Philosophising about game worlds and character creation adds a sense of knowingness to ourselves and the virtual worlds that surround us. Who knows, maybe one day people with chronic disease can live the dying hours of their life in VR. I’m certainly of the belief that the actions I choose to make within the gaming world are reflective of me, especially in in depth RPG’s. In saying that, I’m still like “hang on man, I’m not a completely free soul”.

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  3. Ive thought about this before but not really in depth. I sometimes have lucid dreams , a few times its been a replay of whats happened before and theyre not really significant events, i dont know why ive dreamt of those specific things.

    One night i was driving with some mates , we were high, we got home i went to sleep .
    In the dream i was driving with my mates, along the same road and I was a bit wtf how did i get back here . We had a car accident everything went dark and i woke up . i was pretty scared and confused as to what had happened.
    A few nights later i had another dream. We had an altercation earlier that night that ended peacefully but when i had the dream , the same event , someone ended up shooting us . Same thing. I was very confused but couldnt find an answer.

    is someone playing me , am i seeing my projection in another parallel. another outcome. what makes my character now so special and why do i have to be this one.
    Why cant i switch to the character in my dream and stay there , why do i see it sometimes.

    Im really keen to see what youre going to do with this, hopefully you can help me understand better.

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