Michael's Virtual Conference Paper at ANTHROPOCENES: Reworking the Wound
by Michael Fuchs
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The 2020 conference of the European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts went online. Officially, the presentations will be made available after the conference, but if you want to take a peek at Michael's presentation ...

The 2020 conference of the European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts was supposed to take place June 17-20 in Katowice, Poland. However, we know that there are restrictions to international travel etc. As a result, the conference was taken to a virtual realm.

Michael submitted a proposal, which was accepted. In a way, the coronavirus crisis has the benefit that the (virtual) talk can now be made publicly accessible--even prior to the actual conference.

Here's an abstract of the presentation:

My paper will develop two interrelated points. First, I will suggest that the business simulation Jurassic World Evolution (Frontier Developments, 2018) confronts player-entrepreneurs with the necrocapitalist logic undergirding today’s economic system (cf. McBrien 2016); second, I will argue that the video game exposes the necrofuturist nostalgia the Jurassic Park franchise taps into. Concerning the first point, Jurassic World Evolution asks players to perform a cycle of creative destruction consisting of serialized processes of de-extinction and re-extinction, as dinosaurs are de-extincted only to be re-extincted when a successor that is "better, louder, with more teeth" becomes available. The revenue players generate is thus founded on a cycle of extinction, de-extinction, and re-extinction. As to the second point, de-extinction is at the heart of the virtual entrepreneurship experience. To be sure, de-extinction promises a solution to our extinction crisis by offering a means to re-establishing natural harmony through techno-scientific means. Accordingly, de-extinction employs a past characterized by natural abundance to assuage fears produced by a future devastated by mass extinction. However, by confronting player-entrepreneurs with the necrocapitalist logic they engage in, the video game suggests that de-extinction will bring about a future characterized by an exponential growth in serialized extinctions.

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