An Academic Look at Dead or Alive 5

Six years into this console cycle, and we find the medium of electronic entertainment at a crossroads.

Dead or Alive 5 is clearly a direct response to the oft-pondered question, “Is gaming art?”

By casually asking the player to choose between absurdly-revealing outfits and regularly-revealing outfits, the game designers force the player to reveal the true natures of their id state. The contemporary Character Select screen, which has always tapped into our Jungian archetypes, suddenly takes on a decidedly more Freudian slant

The greatest statement Dead or Alive 5 makes about our corporeal existence is in the game’s core fighting mechanics themselves. The game lauds its fighting system in its own tutorial segments, detailing a complex yet simple rock-paper-scissors ecosystem, urging the player to study move lists and frame counts. Practice as you may, achieve the last of those existential achievements, but don’t forget to also practice your face of defeat, for when you pass controller two to your ten-year-old niece and lose to the button-mashing of

In stark contrast, the Oxford English Dictionary defines Existentialism as the

lack of emotional development

Which brings me to the game’s self-described “Danger Zones.” These pre-programmed stage elements, a clear homage to¬†Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, your “hero’s journey” is interrupted in the thirty second narrative by a

7.75 out of 10.


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