33.1 | N.F. Hartvelt

The Urban Intersection: Resisting Control in the City of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

This article examines environmental storytelling in the 2016 video game Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, which is set in an urban control society. The article discusses the link between ‘the urban’ and ‘the control society,’ paying attention to the digital aspect of (urban) control mechanisms and how these (invisible) mechanisms are consequently represented in Catalyst. It argues that through parkour gameplay and emergent narratives—both of which are firmly rooted in the urban setting of the game—Catalyst allows the player both to imagine and enact resisting control, thereby furthering understanding of the representation of (resistance to) control in the smart city.