“Hentai!” Technofetishisms, Cyborg Desires and the Virtualised Body of Woman

Introduction

Virtual reality (VR) is the latest representational technology inscribed with the myth of integral reality — total immersion into another world (Bazin 1969, pp. 21-22). However, VR exists at an impasse. Torn between cinematic and interactive modes, it often falls into the absurd and the uncanny. I explore these tensions through the subculture of VR anime-styled girlfriend experiences.[2] I argue that VR instantiates the ideology of technosolutionism[3] to the “problem” of femininity.

In Section 1, I trace the actor-network of my ideological VR apparatus. I detail its contingent, processual nature, through an outline of multiple assembling and disassembling events. In Section 2, I perform a phenomenological and psychoanalytic discourse analysis of Hop Step Sing! Kimamani☆Summer vacation (Hop-SS) and Waifu Sex Simulator 3.0 (Waifu-SS), two VR experiences that instantiate virtualised femininity. I explore the dialectical tensions between cinematic and video game logics of transcendence and immanence, through concepts such as the gaze, the mirror stage, perversion and hyperreality. Lastly, in Section 3, I explore the intersection of class, gender and technology, connecting Western imperialism, feminism and reactionary “beta male” misogyny to Irigaray’s women on the market, Lacan’s castration anxiety and Nietzsche’s slave morality.

1. Assembling Desire

Enrolments and Ruptures in the Cyborg VR Machine

“Hence the term, actor-network — an actor is also, always, a network.” – John Law[4]

Creating a sordid VR dream machine is not an easy task on a tight budget. The most popular device on PC as of 2018 is the HTC Vive, a purchase that would set me back $1000 NZD (Vive 2018). I settled on a Google Cardboard from Trade Me for $13.30 inc. shipping. This is, essentially, a cardboard encasement for a smartphone that transforms it into a VR headset (Figure 1). The phone’s built-in accelerometer and gyroscope are interfaced to a motion tracking application, projected through the lenses of Google Cardboard, to reach my eyes as a stream of light. The outcome is a stereoscopic video-image that follows the motions of my head.

dav
Figure 1: My Google Cardboard.

At the other end of the VR assemblage is my PC, a processing centre for VR applications. While there are multiple actants[5] that constitute my PC,[6] for the most part, they operated silently in the background. What did affect my experience was the interface between Google Cardboard and my PC. I required multiple electronic and digital actants to bridge the two. However, these actants were unstable and had to be constantly re-enrol into the emerging cyborg assemblage.

The first of these was SteamVR, a program that interfaces VR applications with VR headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Since I had neither, I had to find a program that could emulate my Google Cardboard as one or the other. VRidge/Riftcat was an option, however, it was limited to 5 minute sessions in the free version. Another option was iVRy. It similarly had a 5 minute limit, but rather than end the play session, it would desaturate the display’s colour. Furthermore, VRidge/Riftcat failed to enrol my smartphone’s gyroscope. The effect of this was that while it could detect pitch, it could not detect yaw.[7] I would turn my head and my virtual gaze would respond with a slow drift nowhere in oblivious bliss. While iVRy successful enrolled my phone’s gyroscope, it rendered VR games at a low resolution, with far fewer frames per second than VRidge/Riftcat. However, I discovered that if I launched iVRy before VRidge/Riftcat the gyroscope issues would be fixed. I had enrolled a mystery actant that interfaced the two applications together.

I could stream data between my PC and smartphone through either WiFi or USB. However, disconnections plagued me for both options. Whether it was lag, pixellation or disconnect, my sleazy cyborg assemblage was a technical wreck. If I used WiFi, kawaii[8] anime faces would explode into cubist hellscapes without warning (Figure 2). If I used USB, my smartphone would get caught in a connect-disconnect loop. I could not figure out whether this was the cable’s fault, one of the application’s fault, or one of the device’s fault. My PC, whose system sounds had been customised with celebrated anime lines such as “nyanpasu” and “wauauauau,” would blare these out in syncopations until I pulled the USB cable out. The only stable connection I found was through a half-metre USB cable, too short to reach my chair. Forced to crouch beside my PC, ever fearful of twisting my head to the point of disconnect, I’d gaze motionless at the virtual landscape and interact with nothing. I settled on WiFi.

Screenshot_20180924-190139.jpg
Figure 2: Pixellation and stuttering through the use of a Using a WiFi connection between Google Glass and my PC.

Furthermore, Google Cardboard was a flimsy wreck. While Google Cardboard housed my phone, I could not interact with it. However, constant disassembly — to access my phone, try different apps, test various USB cables — wore away at the glue holding the encasement together. I could not keep Google Cardboard punctualised. I was painfully aware of every step I took to keep this VR assemblage together. The promise of a platonic anime heaven was (ironically) frustrated through material actuality and the technical and technological skills needed to reign in my fleeing actants. This led to my first realisation about VR: it is a technology restricted to the wealthy or computer-literate — those with the surplus wealth or time to purchase or construct a VR assemblage, and at $1000 NZD a headset or dozens of hours trawling the internet, clearly a very powerful myth drives VR (see Section 3).

2. Becoming Nothing

Bodily (Dis)placements in Virtual Space

“No doubt the darkened room and the screen bordered with black like a letter of condolences already present privileged conditions of effectiveness—no exchange, no circulation, no communication with any outside.” – Jean-Louis Baudry[9]

After testing several anime-styled idol, dating and sex simulators, I settled on Hop-SS and Waifu-SS, for they represented the two extremes of my VR experience.

Hop-SS is an immersive 3D music video about three teen girl idols going to the beach. While the player is situated within the environment and interacted with (Figure 3), it is a scripted sequence, and the player can do nothing to alter the narrative beats. It is cinematic, visual and passive (consumptive). However, because of the player’s situated and acknowledged presence, it is exhibitionist rather than voyeuristic (Gunning 1990, pp. 57-59)[10] — in this case, a perverted exchange, where the “objects” of desire exist for the jouissance of the player (Lacan 1977, p. 185).[11] Where it differs from the exhibitionist cinema of the 20th century is through its enclosure of the player in its diegesis; no longer is there a separation between audience and exhibitionist — an extra-diegetic outside (Gunning 1990, p. 57).

Screenshot_20180924-190317.jpg
Figure 3: Situated in the diegesis, I am hailed by one of the idols in Hop-SS.

Waifu-SS is, on the other hand, a 3D animation program.[12] In Waifu-SS, the player has full control over the environment and soars through the world, accessing an expansive database of rooms, models, animations, sounds and scripts to construct their desired scene (Figure 4). It is ludic, tactile and active (productive), requiring intensive time, effort and a fair bit of knowledge about 3D digital modelling, to utilise its features effectively. Despite affecting everything, the player is obscene, above the scene (Baudrillard 2008)[13] — absent and potentially anywhere — a transcendental voyeur (Baudry 1975, pp. 43-44; Haraway 1991, pp. 188-196; Figure 5).

Desktop Screenshot 2018.10.01 - 22.29.46.38.png
Figure 4: A menu of potential objects to instantiate into the world (Waifu-SS).
Desktop Screenshot 2018.10.01 - 21.54.19.58.png
Figure 5: A distant shot of the same house shown in Figure 3 (Waifu-SS).

Already we see a muddying of past media ontologies. In the 70’s, Baudry theorised cinema as a reproduction of the mirror stage. The cinematic spectator, restricted to their seat in a darkened theatre, is granted the illusion of mastery over their immobile and captivated body through scopic identification with the screen-image — that which unites and masters the world it (re)presents (Baudry 1975, pp. 44-45). The spectator becomes a subject through their introjection of the transcendental gaze (the camera) that travels effortlessly across space and time, to present the world united, cohesive and sensible (Baudry 1975, pp. 43-44). Gazing from nowhere and everywhere, the spectator does not identify with any one particular subject, but with the act of gazing itself; and as the world presents itself without a narrator, it is as if the spectator were gazing upon their own dream (Haraway 1991, pp. 188-196; Metz 1981, pp. 92, 97). Cinema hails the spectator as both transcendental subject and total objective reality — as god of and as the world.

While VR could easily be seen as an extension of such a logic (one is, after all, totally enclosed in a darkened headset), VR invites something that cinema had long repressed — the body as an actant within the narrative. By engaging the body, VR invites interactivity, exchange and dialectical interpenetration — the construction of novel ludonarrative assemblages. However, the reified nature of the commodity[14] stultifies this corporeal potential. There are only so many actions that are recognised by digitally-coded interactive fictions — particularly single-player ones. These disconnections between intent and effect, however, presage ruptures of ideology.

Such limitations and ruptures were deeply felt in my experience of Hop-SS. Within the first few seconds one of the idols had run up to me with a smile before abruptly inserting her bag into my torso (Figure 6; Figure 7). I gazed down at the protrusion in manic abjection, waving my unseen arms across my virtual chest. As more idols flooded onto the wooden bus (that would take us to the beach), I became increasingly unsure of where I was meant to look. One of the idols fell into the seat beside me to show me a picture of her and the other two idols at the beach — the beach we’d yet to reach (Figure 8). Then everyone threw off their clothes (Figure 9) and I was on a lounger by the sandy shore (Figure 10). I recoiled in panic as a beach ball flew into my face (it shot through me without pause). The experience ended with me back on the bus, in the exact position I’d began in, as the two idols opposite me pulled the same finger gesture at the third idol as they’d done at the beginning of the video (Figure 11). It truly was an endless summer.

Screenshot_20180924-190024.jpg
Figure 6: One of the idols in Hop-SS hands me her bag when she enters the bus.
Screenshot_20180924-190030.jpg
Figure 7: The same bag from Figure 5, now in my torso (Hop-SS).
Screenshot_20180924-190046.jpg
Figure 8: One of the idols shows me an image of the trio at the beach (Hop-SS).
Screenshot_20180924-190157.jpg
Figure 9: As the bus enters a darkened alley, the three idols throw off their clothes (Hop-SS).
Screenshot_20180924-190204.jpg
Figure 10: At the beach with the idol group (Hop-SS).
Screenshot_20180924-190503.jpg
Figure 11: Two of the idols point at the last one (off-screen) entering the bus. This gesture is repeated at the beginning and end of Hop-SS, suggesting (to me) some nightmare eternal recurrence.

There is something deeply unsettling about being simultaneously lucid and incapacitated — a bodily presence incapable of affecting anything — paralysed in waking terror as the world around you transforms into an absurd sexualised adolescent musical nightmare (Figure 12). Rather than grant any primordial fantasy of wholeness or mastery, I felt even more inchoate than usual, a passenger trapped in the empty body of heteromasculine desire, affected rather than affecting, the nexus of all things except itself. Where cinema disavows[15] the body, VR ascribes it to the point of viscerality. However, in Hop-SS, this body makes itself felt as object, as that which is acted upon — as that which is exhibited. And what is this exhibit? A stiff unmoving male corpse (Figure 13), trapped in the Other’s fantasy — in their perverted dream (Lacan 1977, p. 185). Rather than enact the masterful gaze of the mirror stage, I had fallen under the gaze of the Other — that which positioned me to its whims (Lacan 1977, p. 92; Figure 14).[16] Like the blot of Holbein’s The Ambassadors, I was pushed and prodded by the visual and aural cues (always too many for me to process in the moment), to turn this way or that, to react to the cavalcade around me, that pushed on, towards its end, regardless of me. Like the infant in their carriage, surrounded by cooing adults, I could only burble back incertitudes and grope the empty air.

Screenshot_20180924-190442.jpg
Figure 12: One of the bikini-clad idols sits next to me on the wooden bus (Hop-SS).
Screenshot_20180924-190256.jpg
Figure 13: My stiff unmoving masculine-styled body, noticeably lacking a swimsuit at the beach (Hop-SS).
Screenshot_20180924-190438.jpg
Figure 14: Two of the idols point at me and smile as fireworks explode outside the bus (Hop-SS).

If Hop-SS is total immersion (unto the death of agency), then Waifu-SS is total control (unto the death of fidelity). Instantiated into an infinite expanse of beige paving stones and a periwinkle sky, I had to bring the world into being through the virtual interface (Figure 15). This interface connected me to multiple databases of assets that could be mobilised as datapoints in the world. I was not thrown into facticity[17] as with Hop-SS, rather, I pre-existed facticity — I was the throwing of facticity — a cyborg god interfaced to directories, indexes, coordinates and algorithms — symbolic signifiers[18] of the purest abstraction that could be deployed to simulate events that had never and could never occur in actuality (Baudrillard 1994). With the tap of my keyboard, I birthed wonders such as “LA_Downtown_Afternoon_Fishing_B_8k” and “Look skirt to skirt up” (Figure 16: Figure 17).

Desktop Screenshot 2018.09.29 - 23.23.55.94.png
Figure 15: The initial view of Waifu-SS at start up.
mpv-Desktop 2018.09.20 - 03.18.37.1500_00_07-0001.png
Figure 16: A menu of potential rooms and backdrops I could instantiate into the world (Waifu-SS).
Desktop Screenshot 2018.09.29 - 23.40.05.00.png
Figure 17: A menu of character modifiers that would alter character animations (Waifu-SS).

The absurdity of being a cyborg god, of course, is that immersion becomes a farce. Soaring through the sky, peppering the landscape with contorted anime bodies (Figure 18; Figure 19), immersion, that infinitely marketed attribute of VR (and all spectacular technologies before it) (Bazin 1969, pp. 21-22), unravels as pure ideology, as the dream of techno-utopian idealism. It became apparent to me that as interactivity increased in VR, immersion faltered. More and more ruptures became possible — points of absurd and uncanny breakdown. Bodies gyrated metres off the ground (Figure 18), buildings clipped through one another (Figure 19). The streamlined, linear flow of Hop-SS made way for the sprawling, multi-directional mess of Waifu-SS, and the promise of visual mastery was superseded by that of tactile mastery, but one I’d clearly not achieved. If Hop-SS was modernist, then Waifu-SS was undoubtedly postmodernist.[19] If the player came here for unity, then they’d have to constitute it themselves, piece it together from a world that was never whole to begin with.

mpv-Desktop 2018.09.29 - 23.49.53.0100_00_06-0002.png
Figure 18: A pirate contorts on the ground beside an idol in mid-dance and a floating woman in a Chinese dress (Waifu-SS).
Desktop Screenshot 2018.10.01 - 22.10.42.70.png
Figure 19: Multiple buildings, of various sizes, clipping through one another. Characters dance oblivious in the house in the centre (Waifu-SS).

VR then, is caught between two ontologies: that of cinema and video games. While blockbuster cinema broadly grants mastery through immersion, passivity, visuality and transcendence, video games do so through control, activity, tactility and immanence. In both cases, the spectator/player is enrolled into a cyborg assemblage of material signification — inclined into certain ways of seeing, feeling and acting by both the physical configuration of their surroundings and the semiotic[20] content of whatever media is being consumed. VR, however, accelerates the tendencies of both cinema and video games by enclosing the player in a darkened headset and tracking their bodily motions. Visuality and tacticity reach new heights, however, their dialectical interpenetration ruptures the ideological assemblages of their predecessors. A qualitative change takes place that cannot be recuperated.

While Hop-SS presents an immaculately realised world (like that of cinema), the player is limited to the point of non-existence — reduced to an inchoate child (a hommelette[21]), without any compensatory mirror-image (Baudry 1975, pp. 44-46). Waifu-SS does the opposite: it grants the player agency through an excess of virtual interfaces — through a meta-level breakdown of the game world into discrete, deployable bits. The lifeworld[22] (if it can be called that) appears in fragments, hyperreal instantiations without originals (Baudrillard 1994).[23] The question of authentic immersion becomes null as both authenticity and inauthenticity fall into the abyss. Nothing was ever immersive, and nothing will ever be immersive, unless the player disavows their own construction and takes up the subject positions of both trickster and tricked — unless the player both represses and fetishises their own labour — becomes a pervert of themselves.

3. Fetishising Femininity

Technosolutionism and the Crisis of Masculinity

“From this point on, patriarchal societies might be interpreted as societies functioning in the mode of “semblance.” – Luce Irigaray[24]

But let us pull out further. The myth that drives VR is more than immersion, for immersion, like conscious, is always of something.[25] What is promised, in this case, is the virtualised body of woman (Black 2008, p. 37), stolen imago of actuality, that bypasses the plastic technologies of painting, photography and cinema, to be digitally-constituted without a trace of its original material being. What is sold is hyperreal femininity: obscene automatons that mimic living female bodies, but without the alterity of contact — without life (Black 2008, pp. 43, 46-47). Woman is born anew as code, totally captured into an ideal world, to repeat, in Tayloristic fashion, the efficient, reliable automated functions of heteropatriarchal masculine desire.

This is explicit in Waifu-SS, where digital assets are mixed and matched for an infinite number of configurations (Figure 20). This abstraction of woman from any situated context mirrors the process of commodification — that occult elevation of the particular to the universal, that shifts a product’s value from use to exchange, towards the price of the good in relation to other goods, rather than its utility in relation to the lifeworld (Marx 1999). As Irigaray (1977, p. 175) puts it, “woman has value on the market by virtue of one single quality: that of being a product of man’s ‘labour.’” However, this labour is effaced through commodity fetishism: that which fixes the social relations of production as the commodity itself (Marx 1999). Femininity, as it is sold, appears an unchanging thing, despite its social construction (both materially and ideologically). Not only do these social relations collapse into the commodity, but the commodity also comes to stand in for direct human exchange (Irigaray 1977, p. 181; Marx 1999). The virtual body of woman becomes a technosolutionist fantasy towards overcoming the alienation it inculcates. In reifying femininity into a general equivalent, a fetish for bridging social relations, all social relations become alienated.

Untitled-1.png
Figure 20: Rooms, characters then animations are sequentially substituted across the images (Waifu-SS).

This technosolutionism is deeply classed. Most VR headsets are not cheap, and the technical and technological skills needed to assemble one cheaply are immense. One also needs access to a powerful computer, a dedicated gaming rig, which can cost upwards $5000 NZD (Mighty Ape 2018). We are not dealing with “tech savvy youths” of Silicon Valley, but rather, the self-styled “PC Master Race” of Reddit and 4chan, a group of predominantly bourgeois white male gamers, who see themselves as hackers over hipsters, libertarians over liberals, übermenschian[26] cyborg gods who will overcome the complexity of the social through code (Morozov 2013, pp. 26-28) and destroy the anxiety of the big Other[27] (il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel[28]) through the total capture of Woman as an extension of Man. Where Irigaray’s (1977, pp. 170-171) women on the market connected multiple men together into a hom(m)osexual reign, VR’s virtualised women connects the singular male player back together with himself through a autoerotic long-circuit. Rather than resolve the social, technosolutionism disavows it.

Let us finish by unravelling this black box called the “PC master race,” for on closer inspection, they share far more in common with Nietzsche’s slave than his übermensch. Their elitism, after all, arises not from a “conquest” of the material, but rather, from an abstention of it (Nietzsche 1895). Two countervailing ideologies inform such a subject position: western imperialism and feminism. Western imperialism — the global conquest of the world for resources, labourers and markets — imposed not only capitalist economic relations on the world, but also, a public-private divide that, effectively, confined women to the domestic sphere. A hallowed site of privacy for men was equally of exploitation and sexual trauma for women.[29] This imperialist subject, as conqueror of both private and public spheres, presages contemporary heteropatriarchal fantasies, even with our altered social arrangements and cultural understandings of gender and sexuality.

All three subsequent waves of feminism frustrate this fantasy. By affirming agency apart from man’s image, feminism negates masculine striving as the sole (political) subject. In doing so, feminism attacks the foundation of liberal capitalism — the primordial myth of (western) civilisation as man’s project. Those who fail to instantiate the ideology of heteropatriarchy, yet still under its sway, must displace woman as the object of desire for something else — in this case, their virtualised image. Unable to instantiate (imperialistic) “alpha male” subjectivity, rejected by feminists who enact desire beyond the confines of male fantasy, the “betas” and “cucks” of the “PC Master Race” fall into ressentiment: a rejection of what they never had (domestic female servitude), and the construction of an ideal world in compensation for that lack (castration anxiety[30]) (Nietzsche 1895). The virtual comes to substitute for a material which was (supposedly) never sought to begin with — because to admit the other’s rejection would be to admit one’s impotency and bring the entire project of masculinity into crisis.


Footnotes
1 Hentai is a Japanese word for pervert/deviant. It is also a pornographic genre of anime and manga. It is often said in exasperated tones by female characters against male characters.
2 Anime is a style of animation developed in Japan. It is characterised by superflat aesthetics.
3 Technosolutionism is the fetishisation of technology as the solution to social issues.
4 Law 2001, p. 4
5 An actant is another world for an actor-network, something that is both constituted out of smaller actors, but also part of larger networks. Actants come into being through punctualisation, a process that brings together heterogeneous matter for a homogeneous goal. Actants are both materially and discursive constructed. See Law’s Note of the Theory of the Actor Network.
6 Motherboard, GPU, CPU, sound card, hard drive, power supply, monitor, mouse, keyboard, gamepad, tower case.
7 Pitch refers to up and down, while yaw refers to left and right.
8 Kawaii is a Japanese term for cute. See Black’s The virtual ideal for an exploration of how kawaii has been deployed in Japan to drive the consumer market.
9 Baudry 1975, p.44
10 Gunning differentiates the exhibitionism from voyeurism by scopic exchange. Where in exhibitionism, the exhibitionist can gazes back at their audience, in voyeurism the audience is unseen.
11 One of Lacan’s readings of perversion sees it as the instrumentalisation of one’s desire towards the Other’s jouissance. The pervert positions themselves as the object of the desire, rather than the desiring subject. To simplify: the pervert enjoys being used. see http://nosubject.com/Perversion
12 Waifu-SS is a modified version of MikuMikuDance, originally intended for the creation of music videos featuring the vocaloid Hatsune Miku. It soon became a platform for constructing erotic and lewd scenes, and was subsequently modified by a fan to do so with greater ease.
13 Baudrillard defines obscenity as an excess of the scene, an overproduction of it, to the point where there can no longer be any enigmatic alterity in the world. Obscenity disenchants the world, through an overproduction of signifiers without signifieds.
14 A commodity is a labour product that has moved from the sphere of production into the sphere of exchange. This transition is characterised by commodity fetishism. This is where the social relations of production, the processual creation of value between workers, becomes fixed into the commodity itself. The commodity becomes a fetish for social relations, and thus social relations come to be seen as arising out of relations between things. See Marx 1999.
15 Disavowal describes a dual process of repression and fetishisation. What is unbearable is repressed (denied), whilst at the same time fetishised (through symbolic substitution). In this case, cinema attempts to efface the body, through the body’s own function. The body, as fetish, represses itself.
16 This is the irony of perversion, for although the pervert places themselves at the mercy of the Other, their belief that they are the object of desire captures the Other within their own fantasy. The Other’s true desire need not matter, for the pervert already knows they will grant it.
17 Facticity describes the conditions in which we are born into, outside of our control. It is the limit of freedom. We are thrown from our’s and other’s past actions into the present state. Like Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History, the storm of progress blows us onwards without a pause or care in the world; and turned to the past we see only a chain of events, a single catastrophe that piles at our feet, too fast for us to make sense of it (or perhaps, swept away by the time we do (or, perhaps, swept away because we do)).
18 A signifier in conjunction with a signified forms a sign. A sign is a representation (a stand in) for a thing or a concept. For example, the words “anime trash” are a symbolic signifier, whose signified is “I know all about these Japanese animation products you otaku kids consume and I would never sink to such depravities because I am a fully-functioning member of society with a salaried job and a girlfriend of four years who I will marry and have offspring with.”
19 Postmodernism arose in the post-war period, as a reaction to modernism, late-stage capitalism, consumerism, post-industrial society, the knowledge economy and neoliberalism. It is characterised by fragmentation, plurality, scepticism, self-reflexivity, contingency and irony.
20 Semiotics is the study of signs. See footnote 21.
21 Hommelette is Lacan’s play on homme (man) and omelette, to describe the child during the mirror stage (a little man of broken eggs). While the mirror constitutes an image of a whole self, a reflection that moves to one’s whims, it at the same time lies, granting a totality that may not be physically felt by the still developing child.
22 The lifeworld is the totality of that which is subjectively experienced — our situated and lived reality — and thus, the foundation of all knowledge.
23 Hyperreality is, for Baudrillard, the third phase of the sign. In his own words “Such would be the successive phases of the image: it is the reflection of a profound reality; it masks and denatures a profound reality; it masks the absence of a profound reality; it has no relation to any reality whatsoever; it is its own pure simulacrum” (Baudrillard 1994, my italics). Hyperreality then, is the representation of a reality that never existed — however, through an excess of the real. We can understand this through Baudrillard’s example of pornography in his book Seduction. Although real actors are hired, there is an excess of camera angles and zooms that could never be achieved in real sex.
24 Irigaray 1977, p. 171
25 This concept is called intentionality. Consciousness-in-itself, is consciousness as nothing. See Sartre’s Being and Nothingness.
26 The übermensch is a concept developed by Nietzsche, whereby the subject enters into an ontology of self-overcoming. This involves the transvaluation of all values: an endless process of flux and fluidity, whereby one’s life is lived in materialistic affirmation rather than moralistic ressentiment.
27 The big Other is our symbolic order of law and language — of the discourses that constitute and limit our subjectivity. It is our representation of the Other’s radical alterity, of what we (anxiously) think the Other desires of us.
28 “There is no such thing as a sexual relationship” — in other words, there is no direct relation between men and women; it is always mediated by language, by the big Other. See footnote 30.
29 The private sphere became the site where man accessed to woman’s body and labour without legal consequences.
30  Castration anxiety arises as an insecurity over the other’s desire, and the subsequent realisation of the other’s lack and one’s own. The phallus (which is not a biological object, but rather, an imaginary object) comes to be sought, for it is believed to be desired by the other. Of course, it is never found.

References
Baudrillard, J. 1994. The Precession of the Simulacra. In: Simulacra and Simulation. Trans. by S. Glaser. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Baudrillard, J. 2008. Ecstasy and Inertia. In: Fatal Strategies. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e). Pp.25-43.
Baudry, J.L. 1975. Ideological Effects of the Basic Cinematographic Apparatus. Trans. Alan Williams. Film Quarterly 28 (Winter 1974-75), pp. 39-47.
Bazin, A. 1969. The Myth of Total Cinema In: What is Cinema? Trans. Hugh Gray. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press. Pp. 17-22.
Black, D. 2008. The virtual ideal: Virtual idols, cute technology and unclean biology. Continuum 22: 1, pp. 37-50. DOI: 10.1080/10304310701642048
Gunning, T. 1990. The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant-Garde. In: Early Cinema: space, frame, narrative. Ed. Thomas Elsaesser and Adam Barker. London: BFI Publishing. Pp. 56-62.
Haraway, D.J. 1991. Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. In: Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Free Association Books. pp. 183‐201.
Lacan, J. 1997. The Line and Light. In: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis: The Seminars of Jacques Lacan Book XI. Trans. Alan Sheridan. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. New York: Norton, pp. 91-104.
Law, J. 2001. Notes on the Theory of the Actor Network: Ordering, Strategy and Heterogeneity. Centre for Science Studies, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YN. Retrieved 24 August, 2018, from http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/papers/Law-Notes-on-ANT.pdf
Irigaray, L. 1977. Women on the Market In: This Sex Which is Not One. Trans. Catherine Porter and Carolyn Burke. Ithica, New York: Cornell University Press. Pp. 170-191.
Marx, Karl. 1999. Chapter One: Commodities In: Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Volume 1: Book One: The Process of Production of Capital. Trans. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling. marxist.org. Retrieved 6 October, 2018, from https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/
Metz, C. 1981. Story/Discourse (A Note on Two Kinds of Voyeurism). In: The Imaginary Signifier. Trans. Celia Britton et al. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Pp. 91-97.
Mighty Ape. 2018. Gaming PCs at Mighty Ape NZ. Retrieved 1 October, 2018, from https://www.mightyape.co.nz/computers/gaming-rigs-gear/gaming-pc-laptop/gaming-pcs/all
Morozov, E. 2013. To Save Everything, Click Here. Public Affairs Books: New York.
Nietzsche, F. 1895. How the “True World” Finally Became a Fable. In: Twilight of the Idols. Trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. Retrieved 4 October, 2018, from http://www.handprint.com/SC/NIE/GotDamer.html
Vive. 2018. VIVE New Zealand | Buy VIVE Hardware. Retrieved 1 October, 2018, from https://www.vive.com/nz/product/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s