When it comes to posthumanism in WOW, the first thing comes up to my mind is I want to be my avatar if it is possible in the future. Game world is a utopian land created by people who dreams to make a different world, so the character inside could be a symbolic human, which hold our mind but more than our flesh body. People always have a desire to develop everything, to become better. Thus, ourselves is also included.
Some human, inspired by the vision of a technologically induced self-surpassing, thanks to new cogno-, bio-, nano- , and information technologies, are pushing the hubris of their species to new extremes. (Herbrechter 2013) Just like evolution, a species development was influenced by nature, but human are trying to make a change by themselves. As the high-technology developing day by day, people’s strongly wish to be what they want to be is on the way achieving. The digital technology of a thinking brain is computer, and it is the basic tool that people use to develop their plan to keep in advance. For instance, cosmetic surgery is trying to make people look perfect, freewheeling of their own apiration; artificial organs helps to reform human bodies, extend their ability to live a better life; gene therapy or clone is to change its nature or give birth to a creature without procreation; 3-D printing and robots work in many core technology spaces even in daily life. A famous runner– Oscar Pistorius, is an exemplify of using technology to remedy his disable, by having artificial legs and still runs faster than numerous abled.
The volume addresses the current technology-centred discussion about the potential transformation of humans into something else (a process that might be called ‘posthumanization’) as merely the latest symptom of a cultural malaise that inhabits humanism itself—humanism in the sense of an ideology and a specific discourse. (Herbrechter 2013) The relationship between human and technology is appear on the surface of our electronic devices, we make it functional, bionic, convenient to finish the tasks which were belong to us. Especially media, which is the carrier for our communication, satisfied our motion for being a digital citizen all over the world. New century’s people spend a lot of time on the internet with their devices and it is the beginning of the process to be posthuman, the digital life. Because this has become the thing we can not live without, or retrograde back. People wish to have more power, to evolve into a higher level throughout machine. It is unavoidable no matter in each aspect of our life, to settled the new epistemology of Cyberontology. When from generalized aspect, anyone who use computer belongs to the digital life. They could hold a digital even more than one digital identities to make a role-play or just being themselves in digital world. Digital subjectivity is seductively attract people about the freedom and possibility that they could experience.
The immersive quality of virtual worlds takes players into a construct, a narrative dream, a ‘post-human’ world treating the body as a ‘tool of the emergent mind’, ‘something capable of being replaced by other prostheses’. (Sean 2000) This point of view gives out a clear boundary that how people put one foot in the virtual world and the other foot in the reality. We need our body as a part of the agent to give the computer order when our mind is being deeply into the game world. And this is one of the posthuman’s shape, working with machine. Another shape is human body combined with the machine, which is more advanced and difficult. The final one which is the highest one, is to use the machine help change our body, which means help to transform our flesh body into a new structure, from outside and inside even in gene, then we could gain a super power or a better ability. I think RPG game, like WOW, is the basic post-drilling of living a posthuman’s life, even less than it will be, but the idea of simulation for experience is a good chance that we could get close to it. Social scientists painted the virtual in blunt terms, calling it ‘subjective’, meant to shape or invent a world, not to represent it. (Margaret 1998:21-24) It should be a world in our mind, since we all know the game world is not real, but thousands of millions of billions of people are still enjoying it, and hoping some of them will come into reality.
It has already been so popular in Science fiction area, the technoscientific and the media-fictional futurology, all have a variety of thinking or imaginations about posthuman. Film, television, and literature have addressed the science fiction-esque quality of ‘the possibilities of transcending corporeal and individual identity’. (Susan 2001:104) Like some of the Super heroes, which has already transformed into another kind but still has the human shape or could change back to human shape. Another example which might closer to our future is The Gig Hero plot in animation film, that we could combine the machine with our body to make us extend our abilities. There are large amount of ideas that has been comes true in the game world thus we could experience by ourselves about the future. And games are still continue to invent more ways to feel real in reality. For example, the game computer Wii, that we could use our body to give the same response to games in our own world and space. ‘In any case, science fiction has increasingly been exercising the role of a cultural trendsetter. One could even see this as the beginning of a new hybrid media genre, namely ‘science faction’, which consciously mixes the fictionality and facticity of scientific culture. (Herbrechter 2013)
We are still in the process of being posthuman, if to compared with the past hundred years, we’ve already been the posthuman. Otherwise if it is about digital, we’ve just started within this century and have been developed at a very fast speed, we are always on the way catching our dreams ceaselessly.
Herbrechter, S. (2013) Posthumanism—A critical analysis. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Margaret, M. (1998) Virtualities: Television, Media Art, and Cyber-culture. Bloomington: Indiana University.
Susan, N. (2001) Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation. New York: Palgrave.
Sean, C. (2000) ‘The virtual disembodied: A crisis in post-humanism’. International Journal of Cultural Studies 3 (1), 125. Available from <http://trace.tennessee.edu> [9 Nov 2015].