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Title: ‘Everything not saved will be lost’: Videogames, Violence, and Memory in Contemporary Irish Fiction
Authors: Lynch, C
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Citation: Irish University Review, 2017, 47 (1), pp. 126 - 142
Abstract: This is an essay about Irish boys who die. Boys who play at dying and boys who play at killing. Boys who kill other boys, and boys who kill themselves. In Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies (2010), Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (2013), and Rob Doyle’s Here Are the Young Men (2014), boys die as a result of illness, overdose, and even murder. In all three novels, boys’ bodies are portrayed as vulnerable; invaded by tumours, manipulated by abusers, and destroyed by drugs. Small wonder then that these boys are also shown retreating from the physical world, finding solace, distraction and even digital immortality through the videogames they play.1 Unlike the fragile human body, a videogame avatar can survive multiple virtual deaths. In a videogame, kicks, punches, bullet wounds, even decapitations, can all be undone, the virtual body resurrected and the game re-played. These immortal virtual bodies operate in an alternate moral arena in which the player’s joy is frequently tied up with inflicting symbolic violence.
ISSN: 0021-1427
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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