Spaces of Allegory. Non-Euclidean Spatiality as a Ludo-Poetic Device

Backe Hans-Joachim
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Studies of digital game spaces have established a solid understanding of the general dissimilarity of game spaces and space in reality, discussing e.g. the particular cardinalities of motion and agency, the significance of projection methods, and the possibility of movement among non-linear paths. This paper applies these theories to a particular phenomenon, the manipulation and defamiliarization of spaces, which has become a rather widespread feature of digital games in recent years. Drawing on postphenomenology and developmental psychology, the paper argues that games with nonEuclidean spatiality challenge real-life epistemologies of space that are acquired early in life. The paper demonstrates the creative use of this form of defamiliarization in two examples, Superliminal and The Witness, which turn it into allegories of dreams, agency, and authorship.


Stasis and Stillness: Moments of Inaction in Videogames

Scully-Blaker Rainforest
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

This paper represents an initiatory investigation into moments of inaction in games. Two particular types of inaction are defined and discussed: stasis, which is inaction brought on by or through a game’s mechanics and stillness which is brought on by or through a game’s aesthetics. Moments of stasis and stillness are shown to either be designed features of a game that produce a variety of affective experiences or playful subversions that are injected into a game by the player. Through describing stasis and stillness as either designed or injected, these two modes of inaction are compared and contrasted as part of a broader project that interrogates whether play can be a form of critique.


Preliminary Poetics of Procedural Generation in Games

Karth Isaac
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

Procedural Content Generation (PCG) is deeply embedded in many games. While there are many taxonomies of the applications of PCG, less attention has been given to the poetics of PCG. In this paper we present a poetics for generative systems, including a descriptive framework that introduces terms for complex systems (Apollonian order and Dionysian chaos), the form that describes the shape of the generated output (formal gestalt, individual, and repetition), the locus of the generative process (structure, surface, or locus gestalt), the kind of variation the generator uses (style, multiplicity, and cohesion) and the relationship between coherence and the content used as input for the generator. Rather than being mutually exclusive categories, generators can be considered to exhibit aspects of all of these at once.