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Accepted Paper:

Highway Hypnotic: Considering Transcendental Moments in the Truck Simulator Video Games  
Christopher Michael Hansen (HMKW Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

This paper builds on a growing body of work that considers video games as sites for spirituality. By using ethnographic research from the r/trucksim Reddit community, this paper considers how Truck Simulator video games produce transcendental moments for players.

Paper long abstract:

On r/trucksim, a Reddit forum where users discuss the Truck Simulator video game series, players often report out of body experiences, meditational moments, and instances of beauty within the virtual world. In this light, the Truck Simulator games can be viewed as producing transcendental moments, where one feels outside their body and connected to something beyond the individual self. Considering Elizabeth Buie's definition for transcendental moments in HCI as β€œan individual experience of connection or unity with transcendence, whether sacred or secular, having a beginning and an end", this paper explores how the mechanisms of the game work to produce moments of transcendence. This paper draws from my research with the r/trucksim community to explore the ways players interact with the game space in regards to these transcendental moments. This research is broken into three categories β€” Highway Hypnosis, Simulated Nature, and Immersive Methods β€” which look at specific mechanisms of the game that produce these altered states. This paper builds on a growing body of work that considers video games as a site for spirituality, drawing from researchers such as Jayne Gackenbach, Robert Geraci, and Alenda Y. Chang.

Panel P07a
Travelling to Other Worlds and Altered States of Consciousness: Human-Artificial relational interactions and living worlds in the Age of Aquarius
  Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -