Narrative media allow for the production of subjective experience, and quite often this is accomplished by means of representing character subjectivity. Conversely, characters’ subjectivity can only be represented because media tap into recipients’ experience, cueing them into attributing their own subjective experience to fictional beings. With Subjectivity across Media a new anthology has been published that specifically addresses both transmedial and medium-specific strategies employed in literary texts, comics, films, and video games to represent these kinds of subjectivity.

Edited by Maike Sarah Reinerth and Jan-Noël Thon, the 248-pages volume assembles theoretical perspectives from analytic philosophy, cognitive theory, and narratology as well as phenomenology, psychosemiotics, and social semiotics to examine how subjectivity can be represented across media. My own contribution to the book is titled “Walk a Mile in My Shoes. Subjectivity and Embodiment in Video Games” and argues that video games not only rely on representing the mental systems of conditions of characters but also their embodied systems of condition through audiovisual design and interactive gameplay. Or to put it somewhat less technically: In games like Journey (2012), which serves as my prime example, we not just ‘take the perspective’ of the player-controlled character, but ‘walk in their shoes’ – leading to an experience of embodied subjectivity.

The book is available on Amazon.com. Since the hardcover version is pretty expensive (yet beautifully crafted!) a look at the eBook option might be worthwhile (which is only 27 EUR). Also check out the table of contents and the impressive list of authors which have contributed to this fine volume:

Introduction: Subjectivity across Media
Maike Sarah Reinerth and Jan-Noel Thon

PART I: VERBAL REPRESENTATIONS OF SUBJECTIVITY

1. The Expression of Subjectivity in Fiction: The Case of Internal Focalization
Tilmann Koppe

2. Child Minds through Gaps and Metaphors: On Two Strategies for Consciousness Representation in Literary Narrative
Marco Caracciolo and Cecile Guedon

3. Cybernetic and Kinetic: Representing Subjectivity in Digital Fiction
David Ciccoricco

PART II: VERBAL-PICTORIAL REPRESENTATIONS OF SUBJECTIVITY

4. The Body at Work: Subjectivity in Graphic Memoir
Silke Horstkotte and Nancy Pedri

5. Visible Hand? Subjectivity and Its Stylistic Markers in Graphic Narratives
Lukas Etter

6. The Drawn-Out Gaze of the Cartoon: A Psychosemiotic Look at Subjectivity in Comic Book Storytelling
Stephan Packard

PART III: AUDIOVISUAL REPRESENTATIONS OF SUBJECTIVITY

7. Experiencing Extended Point-of-View Shots: A Film-Phenomenological Perspective on Extreme Character Subjectivity
Julian Hanich

8. Color and Subjectivity in Film
Barbara Flueckiger

9. Immersed in History Films: Subjectivity, Memory, and Fictional Privilege
Casper Tybjerg

PART IV: INTERACTIVE REPRESENTATIONS OF SUBJECTIVITY

10. Film Aesthetics and Interactive Representations of Subjectivity in Video Games
Benjamin Beil

11. Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Subjectivity and Embodiment in Video Games
Felix Schröter

12. “As Only a Game Can”: Re-creating Subjective Lived Experiences through Interactivity in Non-Fictional Video Games
Evelyn Chew and Alex Mitchel

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