“Game over, man. Game over”: looking at the Alien in film and videogames

Brendan Keogh, Darshana Jayemanne

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

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Abstract

In this article we discuss videogame adaptations of the Alien series of films, in particular Alien: Colonial Marines (2013) and Alien: Isolation (2014). In comparing critical responses and developer commentary across these texts, we read the very different affective, aesthetic and socio-political readings of the titular alien character in each case. The significant differences in what it means to ‘look’ at this figure can be analyzed in terms of wider storytelling techniques that stratify remediation between film and games. Differing accounts of how storytelling techniques create intensely ‘immersive’ experiences such as horror and identification—as well as how these experiences are valued—become legible across this set of critical contexts. The concept of the ‘look’ is developed as a comparative series that enables the analysis of the affective dynamics of film and game texts in terms of gender-normative ‘technicity’, moving from the ‘mother monster’ of the original film to the ‘short controlled burst’ of the colonial marines and finally to the ‘psychopathic serendipity’ of Alien: Isolation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages13
JournalArts
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2018

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