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Anticipatory Gaming: Informing the Anticipatory Governance Process through Digital Media

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Science fiction themed video games, specifically Role Playing Games (RPGs) like Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DX:HR), that focus on an emerging technology, contain features that help to better inform anticipatory

Science fiction themed video games, specifically Role Playing Games (RPGs) like Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DX:HR), that focus on an emerging technology, contain features that help to better inform anticipatory governance. In a game like DX:HR, players vicariously experience human-enhancement technology and its societal effects through their in-game character. Acting as the character, the player explores the topic of human-enhancement technology in various ways, including dialogue with non-player characters (NPCs) and decisions that directly affect the game's world. Because Deus Ex: Human Revolution and games similar to it, allow players to explore and think about the technology itself, the stances on it, and its potential societal effects, they facilitate the anticipatory governance process. In this paper I postulate a theory of anticipatory gaming, which asserts that video games inform the anticipatory governance process for an emerging technology. To demonstrate this theory I examine the parts of the anticipatory governance process and demonstrate RPG's ability to inform it, through a case study of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

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  • 2013-05