Date of Award


Document Type

M.A. Essay

First Advisor

Aden Evens

Second Advisor

Petra McGillen


This essay addresses the relationship of digital games to absurdism through a comparison of the 2011 video game Dark Souls with Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Waiting for Godot. Staked in this comparison is the rhetoric not only of Dark Souls but of the contemporary digital game as a medium; establishing an analogy that speaks to the broader genealogy of modern media, my argument implicates the underemphasized yet critically meaningful kinship of computer games and poetic theater. I argue that understanding the digital game vis-a-vis absurdism means explicating how the 20th century stage, particularly that of Beckett, prefigures contemporary digital worlds now frequented by thousands, and what these mechanical spaces do with their players’ humanity.

Available for download on Saturday, June 07, 2025