Honors Program

Honors in English

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Thomas Crofts

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Mark Holland, Leslie MacAvoy


Describes a theory of gaming inspired primarily by Jean Baudrillard’s claim that gaming is characterized by a “passion for rules.” Key elements of the theory include that games are an attempt to create a new reality, that games create a space for individuality even in an otherwise homogenized world, and that pain and happiness are not diametrically opposed concepts to the gamer. The theory also emphasizes the importance of the player’s meeting with the “superplayer,” the player’s own constructed ideal that he tries to imitate within the game world. This theory of gaming is then applied to the 14th century British poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight both as a demonstration of the theory and to offer a new perspective on the poem. Gawain’s character in the poem is argued as being the archetype of the modern gamer, escaping from an oppressive hegemony by daring to follow the superplayer’s seduction into the passionate world of gaming.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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