Lost Worlds of Andromeda. Mass Effect: Andromeda and the Victorian adventure novel for boys
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Wydział Polonistyki, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Polska
Submission date: 2021-01-07
Final revision date: 2021-03-07
Acceptance date: 2021-03-07
Publication date: 2021-03-07
Corresponding author
Tomasz Z. Majkowski   

Wydział Polonistyki, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Polska
Studia Humanistyczne AGH 2021;20(2):23–40
The paper offers a reading of "Mass Effect: Andromeda" (BioWare 2017) vis-à-vis lost world romance (also dubbed “lost race romance”, or “imperial romance”), a late-Victorian area novelistic genre originating from H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines" and serving as a major tool for British Empire propaganda - and as a source of the early science-fiction conventions. We claim the narrative failure of the ill-received game stems from its adherence to the rigid principles and forceful themes of the genre and the colonial and imperial imaginary informing it. Our analysis aims at highlighting the way 19th Century novelistic convention can be remediated as contemporary digital games, and to expose the link between imperial imaginary and the way open-world digital games are structured, on both narrative and gameplay levels - even when they do not directly refer to the historical colonial legacy.