MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Playing Nintendogs: Desire, distributed agency and potentials of prosumption

Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


This article focuses on participatory forms of capitalism, children’s consumer desires and engagements with a game console. The Nintendo DS is needed in order to enter a gaming world where relationships are built between children and non-human objects with human-like capacities. The discussion proposes that playing a simulation game, Nintendogs, tells us a more general story about how social relations are affected and shaped by technologies. In order to understand consumer desires in a nuanced manner, how they are supported and how they become intensified in everyday discourse and practice, it is important to examine ways in which commodities sustain distributed agency and participate in chains of interaction. Together these different aspects open for scrutiny the fundamental ways in which commodities and consumer desires contribute to the production of human beings. On the one hand desire becomes manifest as longing for commodities and social recognition, on the other, it is also a form of self-preservation that promotes social engagements with various kinds of entities, real or imaginary.