PermalifeWhat does “permalife” mean? It is a contrast with a feature in rouge-like role-playing and massively multiplayer online (MMOs)  video games called “permadeath” (or permanent death or PD). If you are playing a game that involves an extreme form of permadeath, when your character dies, all the progress you have made in-game is erased. In short, you return to square one as if never having played in, or made any impact upon, the game world.

Permalife is an attitude that even in games that feature permadeath, the player’s experience of the game is continuous. The player is always living into a game world despite changes in character, game restarts, and across servers. In other words, the player’s experience is a persistent and uniting feature of video game play.

An FPS: Traditionally, this acronym refers to “First-person shooter” type games. In this genre, the player experiences the game through the “eyes” of the protagonist and is simultaneously limited and immersed through that perspective. This blog is similar in nature: the discussions of games are strictly from the perspective of my experience. The “rules” of the game prevent any appeal to societal structures or political positions unless they are presented through the game and even then, they can only be engaged with as they are presented.

A Feminist Phenomenology (or something): This is a play on the “FPS” acronym. Let’s break this down further.

FeministNot a dirty word here. Feminism, as used here, means an attention to the social constructions such as the limiting nature of gender and its binary of “men” and “women.” On a technical level, it also refers to the games I discuss which are female-friendly and/or alternative games. On a more theoretical level, it refers to the feminist method of looking at the multiplicity of meanings and experiences without making judgments or attempts to reconcile apparent contradictions.

PhenomenologyPut simply, phenomenology means rigorous attention to experience which include perceptions, emotions, and judgments (which are questioned).

or somethingBasically, this is a play. Games are supposed to be fun or enjoyable in some way. This caveat intends to convey the exploratory nature of these discussions and this perspective’s lack of rigid boundaries.