The Obscene Immortality and Its Discontents


Authors
Slavoj Žižek
European Graduate School
Abstract
The digital machinery that sustains video games not only directs and regulates the gamer's desire, it also »interpellates« the gamer into a specific mode of subjectivity: a pre-Oedipal not-yet-castrated subjectivity that floats in a kind of obscene immortality: when I am immersed into a game, I dwell in a universe of undeadness where no annihilation is definitive since, after every destruction, I can return to the beginning and start the game again... One should note here that this obscene immortality was the stuff of fantasy long before cartoons – say, in the work of de Sade. The axiom of the philosophy of finitude is that one cannot escape finitude/mortality as the unsurpassable horizon of our existence; Lacan’s axiom is that, no matter how much one tries, one cannot escape immortality. But what if this choice is false? What if finitude and immortality, like lack and excess, also form a parallax couple, what if they are the same from a different point of view? What if immortality is an object that is a remainder/excess over finitude, what if finitude is an attempt to escape from the excess of immortality?
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