Critical Annotation of Miller


Miller, Kiri. Playable Bodies: Dance Games and Intimate Media. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017: 43.

I spent a lot of time circling the words related to demands by the Kinect in order for you to assume the role of the controller: make sure, requires, have to, and confirming. You cannot completely resist the technology in order to play the game –you are consciously being coached the entire time. It places some trust in you, and you in it as you work together to operate under the “traditional” gaming standards.

Not only are you commanded to perform in order for the game to work properly, but you are also evaluated and scored on that system. There is a right way to perform here, and your performance is quantified. The photographic freeze-frame images show proof of your body-as-controller post-performance, for you to now break the magic circle and acknowledge how you trusted the game.”

I came out of the chapter as a whole thinking primarily about the role of trust in performance, and in what ways that changes in gaming technologies like the Kinect. As a performer, one assumes a level of trust from the audience, from other performers, from the physical setting in order to perform. Here, and in the article from Pham regarding virtual fitting rooms, people are a lot more comfortable with a technological apparatus assuming this role – but in some ways, the trust is being relearned in this relationship. You’re being taught to actively avoid thinking about how you trust the Kinect in your performance by staring at the screen, while also being trained in how to perform for the sensor (as in, what is right or wrong performance.)  Are there analogies to this in traditional performance structures? Or is this an element of trust from gaming?


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