Jacques Derrida would be positively giddy at the inception of META-STRAND’s meta-commentary section. The project itself is a vivisection of Death Stranding, a game shimmering with metaphysical gravitas, but this commentary section does more. It is a vivisection of a vivisection, peeling back the layers of the project’s own hermeneutics to ask, “What am I actually doing here with this project?” Derrida’s concept of deconstruction invites us to perpetually question the structures we inhabit. In this context, META-STRAND’s meta-commentary is not a narcissistic self-examination but a radical act of academic transparency.
META-STRAND iteself has already proven to be less of an academic project and more of an intellectual playground – a hyper-dimensional sandbox where postmodern musings meet pixelated landscapes. The audacity of such a venture is dwarfed only by the audacity of its self-imposed recursion: a meta-commentary. Yes, you heard right again, this isn’t just navel-gazing; it’s gazing at the gaze that gazes at the navel. Umberto Eco would’ve thrown a party; Guy Debord would have lamented its spectacle; Foucault, oh again Foucault, would probably interrogate the underlying power structures that even allow this meta-exercise to exist. In a digital era that oscillates between TikTok memes and armchair activism, it’s both ludicrous and necessary to carve out a space that fundamentally questions itself – a digital Möbius strip, if you will.
Now, let’s take a step back – nay, a grand jeté – through the annals of human thought, to contextualize this lunacy. It’s not an exaggeration to say that much of Western philosophical discourse could be construed as an elaborate preparation for this moment. Socrates, with his incessant questioning, could be seen as the first instigator of a meta-dialogue, irritating Athenians to contemplate the very nature of their beliefs. As an art form, meta-commentary is akin to the Surrealist’s mise en abyme, a recurring fractal pattern that was as disorienting as it was profound. Picture this: an artful splash of Dali’s melting clocks, a sprinkle of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, and a backdrop of Duchamp’s Fountain, all neatly packed into a digital enclave. That’s the aesthetic allure and existential angst META-STRAND is courting here.
Enter Marshall McLuhan, the oracle who famously declared, “The medium is the message.” Never has this truism been more apropos than in the recursive bowels of META-STRAND. McLuhan’s quip is almost prophetic, foretelling the emergence of an environment where not just the game – Death Stranding – but the platform, and even the discourse around it, become part of the narrative. META-STRAND doesn’t just dissect Death Stranding; it’s perpetually repositioning the scalpel upon itself, asking not only ‘What do these incisions reveal?’ but also ‘Why make incisions at all?’
I will not ignore the virulent skeptics, the naysayers, the guardians of conventional wisdom who might disparage this grand experiment as mere intellectual onanism. To them, I channel the spirit of Donna Haraway and her ‘Cyborg Manifesto,’ dismissing purist and absolutist sensibilities that could hinder our collective transgressions into newer forms of intellectual and digital symbiosis. “Why bother?” they ask. “Why descend into this self-reflective rabbit hole?” Well, in a world where tweets can instigate geopolitical crises and memes become cultural lexicons, it’s not just permissible but crucial to investigate the microscopic particles of thought and medium alike. Meta-commentary isn’t just an accessory to META-STRAND; it’s the project’s very soul, its raison d’être, where audaciousness meets profundity in a tête-à-tête.
So, as we marinate in the multi-layered complexities of the 21st century, a venture like META-STRAND offers not just a lens but a kaleidoscope, with each commentary, analysis, and yes, meta-commentary, representing fragmented, distorted, yet invaluable perspectives. It’s in this digital den, away from the cacophony of snap judgments and reductive hot takes, that we find a sanctuary for nuance, a pulpit for doubt, and a theater for intellectual temerity. When the annals of digital humanities are written (likely in some blockchain-enabled, AR-infused, olfactory-enhanced medium we can’t yet conceive), let it be known that META-STRAND didn’t just add a footnote; it questioned the very fabric of the page.
- Derrida, Jacques. 1967. De la grammatologie. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit. English translation 1976. Of grammatology. Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- McLuhan, Marshall. 1964. Understanding media: the extensions of man. New York: McGraw Hill.