Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Communications, Media and Culture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: "What kind of cop are you?": Disco Elysium's Technologies of the Self within the Posthuman Multiverse
Author(s): McKeown, Conor
Contact Email:
Keywords: digital media
video games
new materialism
disco elysium
Issue Date: Dec-2021
Date Deposited: 21-Jun-2022
Citation: McKeown C (2021) "What kind of cop are you?": Disco Elysium's Technologies of the Self within the Posthuman Multiverse. Baltic Screen Media Review, 9 (1), pp. 68-79.
Abstract: I suggest in this article, drawing upon Francesca Ferrando, Karen Barad and N Katherine Hayles, that Disco Elysium illustrates the human through the mode of a ‘posthuman multiverse’. Per Ferrando, humans and other beings act as nodes in a material multiverse while what we think, eat, our behaviours and relations, create part of a rhizomatic ecology that can be understood as who and what we are. This, I illustrate, overcomes a complicated tension in exist-ing posthuman theory, particularly as it relates to game studies. Although theorists have detailed the entangle-ment of players and machines, and the new materialist nature of becoming, it is unclear to what extent human-machine assemblages can be said to be a singular ‘thing’. This is tackled in Disco Elysium as the seemingly mundane and often invisible actions the player takes, all play a role in constructing Harry Dubois and the world that is also endlessly producing him. Game actions, therefore, can be viewed as ‘technologies of the multiverse’, the onto-logical functions through which beings come to exist in a dimension. The game positions the player in a ‘relational intra-activity’ not only with the actions and outcomes of play, as discussed in previous scholarship, but also with the hypothetical outcomes of choices they have not made. When read through the lens of Ferrando’s philosophical posthuman multiverse, Disco Elysium represents a valuable resource for bridging gaps in contemporary posthuman scholarship.
DOI Link: 10.2478/bsmr-2021-0007
Rights: © 2021 Conor Mckeown, published by Sciendo This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License (
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
10.2478_bsmr-2021-0007.pdfFulltext - Published Version137.36 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.