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.


How to Reference a Digital Game

Gualeni Stefano Fassone Riccardo Linderoth Jonas
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

The question of what constitutes a game as a social object is famously problematic. The alleged impossibility of formulating a complete analytical definition for what constitutes a game is perhaps the most evident symptom of that difficulty. One expression of this problem that has been entirely overlooked by academia is the scholarly practice of referencing games. This paper addresses game referencing as a practice that is implicated with- and constitutive for- the ways in which we conceptualize and assign cultural value to games. Focusing on the conceptual framing of games, on game authorship, and on the historical dimensions of both, we will discuss referencing games as an act that is inevitably political. On these premises, we will provide foundational guidelines for thinking about one’s decisions concerning referencing and about the meaning and relevance of those decisions.


Source Code and Formal Analysis: A Hermeneutic Reading of Passage

Willumsen Ea Christina
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

White-box analysis of video games is not an integrated part of the formal analysis. Rather, few scholars have investigated how an analysis of the source code can inform a hermeneutic reading of the game. In this paper I will present a reading of the source code of Passage (Rohrer, 2007), argue for why a focus on authorial intention is unnecessary when investigating the symbolism and metaphors of a game, and illustrate how the white-box analysis can inform the formal analysis of the executed game. Finally, I shall discuss how the source code relates to the game as a ‘work’, and how it can be used for studies of symbolism and metaphors. Thus I will conclude that it is indeed a valuable method for game studies, albeit needing more studies on the textual relation between executed game and source code.


Co-Creative Game Design in MMORPGs

Prax Patrick
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

This paper proposes a model for co-creation of games as alternative media. The model uses actual play practices to understand the political and cultural influence co-creation might have in the relationship between the owner of the game and the players. The model requires for player creation of a text or communication infrastructure that changes the properties of the game from which play emerges not only for the player herself but for a considerable group of players who share a particular practice of play. This change has to be accomplished not only by playing the game but through changing how others play it in a distinct creative activity. It needs to have the potential to subvert or contest the original design of the game. This model is useful for understanding different kinds of player co-creation as well as the extend of co-creative game design and can be a tool for political work towards participatory cultural production in games.


Patches of Peace: Tiny Signs of Agency in Digital Games

Poremba Cindy
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

One of the more interesting and distinct aspects of digital games is the proliferation of player produced artifacts. The reworking of original game materials is an integral part of game culture that cannot be ignored in the study of these games. This paper explores player authorship in digital games through the rhetoric of select peace-themed game modifications.