This is my position paper for a seminar in IT Copenhagen’s game studies department called ‘Against Procedurality’. It has Portal 2 spoilers in it. Also spoilers for my presentation on Tuesday Anyway, I don’t usually get to put things I write academically up here because they’re so long, so I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity to post a short piece of work. Enjoy!
‘As humans we experience our world through the materiality of things. We walk on concrete, wooden or carpeted ﬂoors and drink tea from a ceramic, paper, plastic or polystyrene cup. There is a continuous, invisible exchange taking place between us, our objects and our environment.’- Karen Richmond, Thingness Symposium, Camberwell College of Arts
‘Don’t get yourself all covered in the gel. We haven’t entirely nailed down what element it is, but I’ll tell you this: it’s a lively one, and it does NOT like the human skeleton.’ – Cave Johnson, Portal 2
Materiality refers to the emotional and pragmatic signiﬁcance of materials. Wood feels familiar, tactile and reassuring. Plastic feels like anything and nothing all at once – it feels more alien the more it attempts to emulate the familiar. When games involve virtual worlds, part of their procedurality is devoted to the materiality of the game-worlds.