Techno-Giants: The Giant, the Machine and the Human


The relationship between humankind and technology is fundamental, but also a longstanding source of unease, particularly as that relationship has become ever more intimate and irreversible. In this paper, I connect this age-old anxiety with the age-old figure of the giant, a monster similarly intertwined with ancient questions on the boundaries of humanity. I focus on two examples: the Human-Reaper larva in Mass Effect 2 and Liberty Prime in Fallout 3 and 4. Although different in approach, these examples demonstrate a use of a phenomenon I call the `techno-giant’ to explore and reflect the powerful anxieties in our cultures to do with the future of the human– technology relationship. In particular, both examples expose the human– nonhuman boundary as being exceeding difficult to define and place, despite a constant desire to. The figure of the giant offers a powerful focal point for these representations.

Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere