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This paper adopts the player-focused approach of studying video games to articulate how Final Fantasy VI (FFVI) can be involved in turning the adherents and objectors of Foucault’s discursive approach toward one another in conversation. It advances the thesis that FFVI’s video game experiences – 1) building friendships between members and victims of the Empire, 2) exploring a world ruined by a maniacal striving for power, and 3) confronting radically destructive despair with a shared sense of life-preserving human connectivity – are avenues for authentic and constructive conversations about the strengths and weaknesses of postcolonial thought that is driven by the discursive approach. This thesis unfolds in three “acts,” just as FFVI plays out like a theater experience. The first section briefly summarizes Foucault’s discursive approach that postcolonial authors embrace in their calls to hear the voice of the “other.” Next, Foucault’s successors are contrasted with objectors who claim that the discursive approach turns opportunities to hear the voice of the other into impossible and non-allowable tasks. Finally, FFVI’s immersive video game experiences spotlight opportunities for friendly and meaningful conversations about the strengths and weaknesses of postcolonial thought.


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Foucault Fantasy VI: A Role-Playground for Postcolonial Thought

This paper adopts the player-focused approach of studying video games to articulate how Final Fantasy VI (FFVI) can be involved in turning the adherents and objectors of Foucault’s discursive approach toward one another in conversation. It advances the thesis that FFVI’s video game experiences – 1) building friendships between members and victims of the Empire, 2) exploring a world ruined by a maniacal striving for power, and 3) confronting radically destructive despair with a shared sense of life-preserving human connectivity – are avenues for authentic and constructive conversations about the strengths and weaknesses of postcolonial thought that is driven by the discursive approach. This thesis unfolds in three “acts,” just as FFVI plays out like a theater experience. The first section briefly summarizes Foucault’s discursive approach that postcolonial authors embrace in their calls to hear the voice of the “other.” Next, Foucault’s successors are contrasted with objectors who claim that the discursive approach turns opportunities to hear the voice of the other into impossible and non-allowable tasks. Finally, FFVI’s immersive video game experiences spotlight opportunities for friendly and meaningful conversations about the strengths and weaknesses of postcolonial thought.