Gameplay Rhetoric: A Study of the Construction of Satirical and Associational Meaning in Short Computer Games for the WWW

Madsen Helene Johansson Troels Degn
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

This paper maps out the construction of non-narrative rhetorical meaning in short computer games. Setting off from the recent emergence of short satirical computer games on the World Wide Web, it observes that at least some computer games do have potentials as a medium of artistic expression; that regardless of the possible narrative powers of computer games. Drawing on Leonard Feinberg's categories of satire and George Lakoff's theory of metaphor, the article describes the basic rhetorical mechanisms of satire and association in computer games and suggests that satire and especially allegorical association in this context appear as two sides of a common theme: the call for immortality and the mastery of computer games.