Christian Ulrik Andersen: “Det æstetiske interface – Computerspillet i en interfacekultur og interfacet i computerspillet” [“The Aesthetic Interface – The Computer Game in an Interface Culture and the Interface in the Computer Game”] ISBN 87-91810-09-4, DARC, 2009, 150 DKR
“We are living in an interface culture. The computer’s interface is our access to culture – its text, images and sound. The interface is not just a tool for work but is a sensual experience.
An aesthetic interface is an interface where the experience of the interaction is central. The most dominating example in the interface culture is the computer game. This book addresses the history of computer games from the beginning with Spacewar! (1962) to contemporary games such as Metal Gear Solid. It also sets up a theoretical framework for understanding the computer game as an aesthetic interface – its space and language – including both speech act theory (Austin and Benveniste) and modern aesthetic theory (Benjamin, Deleuze, Heidegger).”
In a time where computer games are often criticised, the book points to an educational aspect of gaming. At the same time it addresses a debate on the role of aesthetics in general. Aesthetic experience is not just limited to art but cannot be reduced to a question of ‘beautiful design’ either. The book raises the fundamental question whether the sensual experience of pop culture and computer games could be more than a mere experience of fun and beautiful design?”
The book is based on a PH.D dissertation with the same title.
Christian Ulrik Andersen is assistant professor at the Dept. of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University and is also chair of DARC.