Farocki's Serious Games: Play, Learning, Therapy


  • Virgil Darelli




spielraum, farocki, benjamin, serious games, play


The essay acknowledges, through an aesthetic perspective, the relationship between training and therapy, meant as a play or work on oneself. Through the analysis of Harun Farocki’s Serious Games, which examines this relation with reference to two virtual devices of the US Army, the essay shows how the training provides an early mastery of the traumas, while the therapeutic work offers a postponed learning. In fact, they are both based, on the one hand, on the individual ability to distance oneself from the body shock par excellence, death. On the other hand, they aim to integrate the image with a sensorimotor interaction that ultimately creates a positive feedback. The innervation of body space and image space provides the Spielraum that Benjamin perceives as an immersive space of the play, where the repetition of the experience allows the incorporation of a habit. The military context is an emblematic example of these relationships, by managing the precarious balance between the domination of the space and the freedom of movement.



How to Cite

Darelli, V. (2019). Farocki’s Serious Games: Play, Learning, Therapy. Cinergie – Il Cinema E Le Altre Arti, 8(15), 105–114. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2280-9481/8662