Teagan Wolfe BFA Animated Arts Thesis Fall 2014

Reticule: You Are Here

I became interested in games based on their frequent characterization as the medium of choice. Incorporating critical theory into my experience of video games, I was fascinated by how the act of choosing reflects, or potentially constructs, the user’s identity in the process. I initially framed this project as an exploration of the legitimacy of choice and identity in designed space. I was suspicious of this prevailing definition of interactive entertainment. When I approach a fork in the road, I may not know what fate awaits me should I choose one path over the other, but I typically feel confident that something exists at the end of whichever road I choose. This environment of determination and consequence is more pronounced in games, but not always conspicuously so. In game space, the end of every road is similarly predetermined before the user’s arrival, but additionally, and perhaps uniquely, the user’s method of choosing has also been constructed. We walk down roads because someone has coded our stride. How free to choose are we if the method of deciding and the potential outcome of our decision, have already been arranged, accounted for, and designed?
I no longer understand “choice” or “agency” to be the operative features of video games. During the thesis process, my interest shifted from questioning whether or not choice exists in designed space to examining the conditions of identity in the absence of choice. Three elements became central to this exploration: loops, failure, and redaction.

Gary Wiseman BFA General Fine Arts Thesis Fall 2014

Carlee Wolcott BFA Painting Thesis Fall 2014

Catherine Andrews BFA Illustration Thesis Fall 2014

Claire Redman BFA Printmaking Thesis Fall 2014

Sarah Hayes BFA Illustration Thesis Fall 2014

Kate White BFA Communication Design Thesis Fall 2014

Jacob Heiny BFA Photography Thesis Fall 2014

Sarah Simmons BFA General Fine Arts Thesis Fall 2014

Teagan Wolfe BFA Animated Arts Thesis Fall 2014

Molly Mendoza BFA Illustration Thesis Fall 2014

Jason Le BFA Printmaking Thesis Fall 2014

Nathan Stang BFA Communication Design Thesis Fall 2014

Clae Spratt BFA Communication Design Thesis Fall 2014

Zoe Mcguire BFA Illustration Thesis Fall 2014

Patience Thompson BFA Illustration Thesis Fall 2014

Justin Moore BFA Printmaking Thesis Fall 2014

Kathryn Wilhelm BFA Communication Design Thesis Fall 2014