What Does it Mean to be Orlanthi? Hermeneutic Challenge in King of Dragon Pass

Arjoranta Jonne
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

The game King of Dragon Pass (A Sharp 1999) portrays what it is like to live as an Orlanthi, a member of the Storm Tribe. In order to successfully play the game, the player must understand the values that guide a tribe of Orlanthi in a hermeneutic process that requires the constant evaluation of the players’ prejudices of how people should live and be governed. This paper examines the hermeneutic process of interpretation the player goes through and shows how meaning works as a game mechanic in King of the Dragon Pass.


Ludology, Narratology and Philosophical Hermeneutics

Arjoranta Jonne, Karhulahti Veli-Matti
2014 DiGRA Nordic '14: Proceedings of the 2014 International DiGRA Nordic Conference

In this article we present the hermeneutic method as a tool for analyzing game studies discourses. We use Markku Eskelinen’s profusely interpreted “The Gaming Situation” (2001) as a case study. Our premise is that whereas the hermeneutic method is academically well-established, its conscious application is not. It is suggested that with conscious application of the hermeneutic method the persistent and problematic questions in game studies, like those related to narrative, definition, and art, gain potential to be treated with increased sophistication.