Seeing, Moving, Catching, Accumulating: Pokémon GO, and the Legal Subject
Embargoed until: 2018-09-01
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This paper argues that the augmented reality gaming application for smart devices, Pokémon GO shows the fate of the legal subject as a neoliberal monster subjugated to the limitations imposed by hypercapitalism. The game, derived from Nintendo’s iconic Pokémon franchise, reveals the legal subject as a frenzied, diminished and impulsive being, allowed to see, move, catch and accumulate but unable to participate in more meaningful self-narration. It is not that the game is lawless, notwithstanding, anxieties in the semiosphere about users trespassing or engaging in criminal behaviour. Rather the game is over structured and highly limited, both within its game-play which is repetitive and impulsive, and in its absence of narrative. Unlike the classic Nintendo Pokémon games which are within the role-playing game genre, Pokémon GO abstracts the seeing, moving, catching and accumulating features of the classic games without the overarching narrative, questing and competition. In this Pokémon GO manifests the transformation of the liberal legal subject of capitalism to the neoliberal subject of a digital orientated hypercapitalism where seeing, moving, catching and accumulating is immediate and impulsive, obliterating the ‘prudent’ subject participating in their own self-narration.
International Journal for the Semiotics of Law
© 2017 Springer Netherlands. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Law not elsewhere classified