Biolithic Horror: Stone Victim/Victimisers in Resident Evil Village (2021)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper explores the horror of stone and nonhuman victimhood, aiming to contribute to Ecogothic research (Smith et al., Keetley and Silvis) through a videogame case study that problematises the borders of victim/victimiser, player/avatar, animate/inanimate. Resident Evil Village (Capcom 2021) is a game of Gothic minerals: castle masonry, caves, crystals and rusted metal. I use Cohen and Callois’ work to argue that Village’s stone problematises victimhood, agency and embodiment through what I term ‘biolithic’ entanglements, and that ‘visual’ and ‘inert’ background assets possess an underappreciated and unsettling centrality in videogames. Surviving Village involves reckoning with the ineffable and inexhaustible complexity of materiality that frustrates player agency: while pebbles may be trodden underfoot, from stone we emerge and to stone we return.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVictimhood in post-1970s Horror Media
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Resident Evil Village
  • nonhuman
  • stone
  • game ecocriticism
  • ecogothic
  • lithic


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