(Co)Figurations of Future: Ecocritical Approaches to Virtual Worlds

(Co)Figurations of Future: Ecocritical Approaches to Virtual Worlds

Virtual roundtable hosted by the Liberal Arts Collective at Penn State with Alenda Y. Chang, Jonathan Correa, Kathryn Hamilton, and Deniz Tortum

Virtual environments proliferate within the flatness of our screens, a flatness spatially structured by layers of hardware and code. From hypertext and social networks to the 3D worlds of video games and virtual reality, we wander and explore realities paralleling—and mirroring—our own. Often this engagement occurs through frameworks of interaction and play. Digitally-rendered worlds, whether constructed of text, images, video, or other interfaces, have the potential to reorient the relationship we have to our own planet in crisis.  How do we relate virtual environments to non-virtual ones, particularly in our time of ecological devastation and climate change? 

Panelists will discuss how digital media forms are being used in response to ongoing ecological crises and the role of the human in virtual worlds. Through an interdisciplinary approach to video games, software, and contemporary art, we hope to (re)imagine digitized sociality as going beyond computers and humans to the environment more broadly.  What are the possible future(s) envisioned by and through the experience of virtual worlds?

Virtual Event