Like a Boss

“Disgust makes beauty and ugliness a matter of morals.” -William Ian Miller

Long been a fan of survival horror games, particularly titles like Silent Hill, F.E.A.R. and Manhunt. These are games made by their atmospheres and the feelings elicited throughout: disgust, fear, revulsion and terror. The game’s Boss, or final combatant, can bring all these feelings out at once, along, curiously, with joy, attraction and passion. The more repulsive these figures are – the more memorable.

I wanted to gather them all in one place, and take the old analytical microscope to them. So, I wrote this essay. At the time, I was reading a ton of theory on affect (Sianne Ngai’s Ugly Feelings, in particular). You can read the essay below, courtesy of Issuu, or here: Like a Boss.

Editing this was a great challenge, and I have to thank Chris Dahlen, first. I also thank my many friends who helped me think about this topic – and read through the countless drafts this went through.

One comment

  1. Hi — I would send an email but didn’t see an address listed anywhere on your site. I just read your article in Kill Screen 1! And I just released an anthology on the topic of rape in gaming, co-edited with Julian Dibbell, which I thought you might be interested in. There’s more info here; let me know if you want a review copy.

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