Prank, Troll, Gross and Gore: Performance Issues in Esport Live-Streaming

Karhulahti Veli-Matti
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

This article examines the functions of prank performance and troll performance for the aesthetics of personal live-streaming, i.e. the practice of live-streaming one’s personal performance via platforms such as The study is based on a close analysis of personal esport live-streamer Ali Larsen, aka Gross Gore, via a 12-month observation period. With help of Goffmanian frame theory the notions of interview frame and play frame are introduced as the basic cognitive tools for organizing personal esport livestream experiences. The study concludes by proposing three factors that are vital for the aesthetics of personal live-streaming in general: (1) the feeling of affecting live-streams, (2) the suspense that derives from expecting something unexpected to happen in livestreams, and (3) the sharing of dramatic developments that occur in live-streams.


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.


Narrating machines and interactive matrices: a semiotic common ground for game studies

Ferri Gabriele
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

Between playing a game and enjoying a narration there is a semiotic and semantic common ground: interpretation and meaning-making. A semiotic methodology to describe situated gaming practices will be presented in three phases. At first, the intuitive concept of "meaning" will be discussed and substituted by the generative semiotic notion of "content". Then the structuralist semiotic notion of "text" will be criticized and substituted by the the concept of "interactive matrix" and "game-text", referring also to Rastier's differential semantics, Peirce's diagrams and other recent proposals in semantics of perception. Situated gaming practices will be the focal point of the last part of this paper, showing how these practices and the game-text mutually influence and modify each other during interpretation and meaning-making.


BurgerTime: A Proceduralist Investigation

Treanor Mike Mateas Michael
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper explores the foundations and implications of interpreting videogames as representational procedural artifacts. Where previous work established a method of proceduralist readings, one which emphasizes the representational power of a game’s rules, to interpret videogames intentionally imbued with meaning, this study attempts to apply the method to a game that seemingly resists interpretation: the classic arcade game BurgerTime. Interpreting BurgerTime provided a challenge to the proceduralist perspective that required investigating its outer limits and assumptions. In the end, a comprehensive reading is achieved by considering the gameplay of expert players: those who understand the rules of a game the most.


Do We Need Real-Time Hermeneutics? Structures of Meaning in Games

Arjoranta Jonne
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

Games differ from most other forms of media by being procedural and interactive. These qualities change how games create and transmit meaning to their players. The concept of “real-time hermeneutics” (Aarseth 2003) is analysed in order to understand how temporality affects the understanding of games. Temporal frames (Zagal and Mateas 2010) are introduced as an alternative way of understanding time in games.


Textual Analysis, Digital Games, Zombies

Carr Diane
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper is a contribution to ongoing debates about the value and limitations of textual analysis in digital games research. It is argued that due to the particular nature of digital games, both structural analysis and textual analysis are relevant to game studies. Unfortunately they tend to be conflated. Neither structural nor textual factors will fully determine meaning, but they are aspects of the cycle through which meaning is produced during play. Meaning in games is emergent, and play is a situated practice. Undertaking the textual analysis of a game does not necessarily involve ignoring these points. Textual analysis, like any methodology, does have limitations. The specifics of these limitations, however, will depend on the particular model of textuality employed. These issues are explored through an analysis of the survival horror game, Resident Evil 4.


Exploration in computer games — a new starting point

Egenfeldt-Nielsen Simon
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Space, vast lands and dungeons… It is no coincidence that Space War and Adventure are among the best known of the first computer games. Both clearly appeal to the player’s curiosity, and desire to explore unknown territory. When exploration ceases, the game comes to a stop … For some time it has been clear to me that the importance of exploration has remained largely unexplored by game research. Sometimes it is used as a subset of a larger theory or analysis. However, I believe there are strong reasons for giving it more attention. The case I want to make in this paper is that exploration is an essential part of computer games. I will concentrate my argumentation on exploration as a basic drive for playing computer games. To achieve this I will look at exploration in computer games from two different perspectives: A player perspective and a system perspective. The argument is that each perspective is a different set of optics for the perception of the exploration of the game. The system perspective denotes the rules necessary to play a game, and the player’s exploration of them. The player perspective explains the phenomenological game experience, where meaning is central to the exploration. Succinctly, my argument will be as follows: All computer games start with the player building a state of tension (a conflict), which gradually subsides through the ongoing exploration of the game universe. A computer game is characterized by an ability to support different optics of explorative activities. The primary goal of this article is the description of those two sets of optics.


Characters in Computer Games: Toward Understanding Interpretation and Design

Lankoski Petri Heliö Satu Ekman Inger
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Interpretation of characters is a fundamental feature of human behavior. Even with limited information available, people will assign personality – even to inanimate objects. Characters in computer games will be attributed personality based on their appearance and behavior. The interpretation of these characters affects the whole game experience. Designing the protagonist character in computer games is different from the design of static characters (e.g. film or literature), because the player’s actions will affect the nature of the character. There are, however, many ways to control and guide the actions of the protagonist and thus the character’s nature. By setting goals, scripting pre-defined actions and choosing what kind of actions to implement, the game designer can restrict the player’s freedom. This, together with the characterization of the character, will affect the interpretation of the character.


Building and Reconstructing Character. A Case Study of Silent Hill 3

Lankoski Petri
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Characters are in an important role in many games. A good player character is likely to leave good lasting impression about the game. It has been argued that creating the personality for a player character is problematic. However, there are multiple methods used in games to inform a player about the nature of a player character: predefined functions, goals, possible and impossible actions, and more traditional audiovisual means. In this paper the player character of Silent Hill 3 is analyzed using presented categorization. This paper shows that the classification is a useful analytic tool, but it needs to be developed further to include belongings and space as elements describing a player character. The categorization also highlights aspects that need to be addressed when designing player characters.