Open Access (free)
Reading Half-Life
Barry Atkins

3 Gritty realism: reading Half-Life Half-Life [inc. Half-Life (1998), Half-Life: Opposing Force (1999), Half-Life: Blue Shift (2001)]. First-person shooter. The player controls the actions of an in-game protagonist from a firstperson perspective. What the player sees is what the protagonist would see. Progression through the game largely involves forward movement through a series of areas within a government research complex. There is a limited need to interact with objects and the landscape. All versions of the game offer variations on a basic escape and

in More than a game
José Luís Fiori

Introduction This strategy is guided by principled realism. It is realist because it acknowledges the central role of power in international politics, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests… We are also realistic and understand that the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress . The White House, ‘National Security Strategy of the United States of America’ ( The White House, 2017

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Space and the Speculative in James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”
Maleda Belilgne

In a 1961 interview with the journalist Studs Terkel, James Baldwin offered a riveting assessment of Bessie Smith’s “Backwater Blues.” “It’s a fantastic kind of understatement,” Baldwin tells Terkel. “It’s the way I want to write.” Baldwin hears something in Bessie, a sonic and discursive quality he aspires to and identifies as “fantastic.” This essay considers the speculative undertones of Bessie’s blues and Baldwin’s literary realism. I argue that Bessie’s doubled vocalization in “Backwater Blues” lyrically declares her immobility and circumscription, while tonally staging freedom and boundlessness. Baldwin is drawn to this dual orientation and enunciation, a vocalization that in its iteration of the real transcends the social, spatial, and imaginative limitations of that order. If we read “Sonny’s Blues” the way Baldwin hears Bessie, as a fantastic kind of understatement, we discern subtle sonic and spatial iterations of the irreal. Attending to microtonal sounds in “Sonny’s Blues”—screams, whistling, jukeboxes—I show that the speculative emerges in Baldwin’s story when the sonic overrides the racialized inscription of space.

James Baldwin Review
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

once authored, not because of his own idiosyncratic way of doing politics but because of the strategic realignment that his presidency represents. According to Trump, his administration’s security strategy is guided by ‘principled realism’. The apparent incoherence of his foreign policy is as indicative of what this entails as his specific interactions with other governments. With every diplomatic encounter imagined as a stand-alone opportunity to strike a winning ‘deal’, the norms-based, multilateral system of global governance becomes

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

ecological degradation who should be most deserving of our respect and attention. Violence Comes Easily to Humans A picture of impending dystopian realism is part of the contemporary reckoning 4 . Collapse, anarchy, violence – the surest signs the explosive potential was always there. We might make a crude point here and say that if our basic level instinct is survivalist, and this in turn has shaped the prevailing account of politics as a means to protect life from its unmediated desires, then every human has a violent impulse deeply woven into consciousness and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

change in world-experience. What is often called post-humanism ( Braidotti, 2013 ) brings several contemporary positivist stands together. These include the new empiricism, speculative realism and actor network theory. Post-humanist thought draws on process-oriented behavioural ontologies of becoming. These privilege individuals understood as cognitively limited by their unmediated relationship with their enfolding environments ( Galloway, 2013 ; Chandler, 2015 ). An individual’s ‘world’ reduces to the immediate who, where and when of their

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Brendan T. Lawson

violence to economic prosperity, are ‘presented as unambiguous and objective’ because they ‘are grounded in the certainty of numbers’. Such a conception of numbers is encapsulated by Desrosières (2001 : 348) when he talks of ‘metrological realism’. This viewpoint holds that ‘computed moments (averages, variances, correlations) have a substance that reflects an underlying macrosocial reality, revealed by those computations’. In other words, numbers reveal something about the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

” ’, Digital Journalism , 6 : 2 , 137 – 53 . Taylor , J. ( 2000 ), ‘ Problems in Photojournalism: Realism, the Nature of News and the Humanitarian Narrative ’, Journalism Studies , 1 : 1 , 129 – 43 . Tucher , A. ( 1994 ), Froth and Scum: Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and the Ax Murder in America’s First Mass Medium ( Chapel Hill, NC : University of North Carolina Press ). Twomey , C. ( 2015 ), ‘ Framing Atrocity ’, in Fehrenbach , H. and Rodogno

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
The computer game as fictional form
Author: Barry Atkins

This book is dedicated to the study of computer games in terms of the stories they tell and the manner of their telling. It applies practices of reading texts from literary and cultural studies to consider the computer game as an emerging mode of contemporary storytelling. The book contains detailed discussion of narrative and realism in four of the most significant games of the last decade: ‘Tomb Raider’, ‘Half-Life’, ‘Close Combat’, and ‘Sim City’. It recognises the excitement and pleasure that has made the computer game such a massive global phenomenon.

Open Access (free)
Peter Morey

overview 157 of exploitation, and even she begins to forego its trappings for a closer relationship with her employees. Viswanath is undeterred, however, bemoaning the ‘defeatist end constructed by a male writer for Dina … [wherein she is] reduced from female individualist to feminine subject’, as the author ‘offers his text on the altar of realism’21 [emphases added]. Viswanath’s is a strange, essentialist reading. Needless to say, the other two authors she examines in her comparative study get a better press. This is disappointing, particularly because there are

in Rohinton Mistry