Nora N. Khan

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.