Cameron Kunzelman is a PhD student in the Moving Image Studies track in the Department of Communication where he studies video games, theories of game development, and contemporary philosophy of the media. His most recent research projects have centered on the assemblage theory of Manuel DeLanda and how it can be used to better understand the connections between aesthetics and production cultures. He has written both academically and for a general audience about games, and his byline can be found in Paste Magazine, Vice, Kotaku, and several other publications. He has also developed several commercial and noncommercial video games that have appeared in both a fine art context and on your friendly neighborhood digital distribution platform of choice.
Kunzelman’s recent work has been centered on trying to square DeLandan assemblage theory with contemporary theories of aesthetics in the context of video games. Game studies constantly struggles with demarcating lines between cultural institutions, formal rules of play, machinic interface studies, and every kind of “scale” imaginable from the smallest electronic component to the hypercapitalism of free-to-play economic models. Because assemblage theory at least encompasses all of this, Kunzelman looks to design theory, philosophy, the study of game development itself, and other disciplines to write about how all of these systems collapse or interrelate. Two forthcoming pieces make this move: One is on Bioshock 2 and how it uses particular formal qualities to draw our attention to both the reality of development and the reality of phenomenal experience; the other focuses on the use of remediation in the adaptation of film properties in order to generate a particular kind of viewing and playing subject.