It’s no videogame: news commentary and the second gulf war

Consalvo Mia
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

This study analyzes U.S. news media coverage of the second Gulf War, to determine how individuals used the term ‘videogame’ in reference to the war. By studying how the news media itself sought to praise or criticize coverage of the war as being un/like videogames, we can see how videogames continue to be constructed in popular media in troublesome ways. Analysis, for example, shows that use of the term “videogame” points to coverage that (1) focuses on sophisticated technologies, (2) is devoid of human suffering, and/or (3) seems somehow fake or non-serious. Use of the term is largely pejorative and dismissive, reflecting (and reinforcing) popular views of videogames as lacking context and seriousness. Finally, the study examines the military’s own history of game-related activities, and how that context creates striking paradoxes in such usages.


Monsters and the Mall: Videogames and the Scopic Regimes of Shopping

Molesworth Mike
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead is a film which has been criticised for its violence, but which also contains insights into our consumer society. In this paper I argue that videogames, which are similarly criticised for being violent, also tell us about one trajectory of consumer culture. Drawing from recent re-evaluations of the flâneur-shopper I consider the temporal, spatial and panoptic scopic regimes of shopping and tourism consumption, and compare these with the experience of playing first person shooters. In doing so I also consider the development of consumer ‘ways of seeing’ in shopping and videogames that construct the consumer as an imagining and desiring user of commercial images. Using reviews of first person shooters that have been promoted for their visual spectacle (Doom 3 and Halo) I argue that the active and speculative nature of videogame play allows for something like the flâneurshopper’s stroll through a commercially constructed space, but unlike shopping spaces which may be becoming increasingly similar, videogames re-enchant the consumer gaze with their spectacular vistas and constantly changing environments. The result however, is that Romero’s criticism of the alienating effect of a consumptionorientated life may also be applied to videogames.


Space, Agency, Meaning and Drama in Navigable Real-Time Virtual Environments

Roudavski Stanislav Penz François
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Does our preoccupation with navigable space distract us from the expressive potential of interactive media? Can our understanding of spatial context in virtual environments (VEs) be expanded to incorporate social reasoning and behavior? Drawing on the theoretical foundations and practice of Architecture, this paper considers the relationship between person and environment in the real world and in navigable real-time three-dimensional digital worlds. The first part discusses the cyclical and bi-directional nature of the person _ environment relationship with interactive involvement as the basis for meaning construction and behavior guidance. The second part considers the differences brought in by the representative nature of computer-based interactive three-dimensional (3D) worlds. The examples for discussion are derived from the rich field of videogames. This is followed by an overview of the principal components of Shenmue II, a role-playing game, and a case-study examination of one interactive sequence from it. The analysis shows that navigable space always carries meaning, reiterates that interactivity is an integral part of spatial experiences and illustrates how construction of mental images is a product of mediation. When VEs are designed to utilize rich agency and expressive mediation devices, they potently overstep the systematic rule-based constraints of their design and become meaningful and engaging as situations that have real-world roots and dramatically significant consequences.


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.


Cinematic Camera as Videogame Cliché

Thomas David Haussmann Gary
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Because the videogame camera is not an optical camera, it can be programmed to represent a potentially infinite number of perspectives beyond the classic, representational linear perspective. However, an ongoing collusion of the optical camera and the videogame camera leads videogame designs to favor cinematic visual patterns. Classic videogames show a strong tradition of non-optical, non-cinematic perspectives and prove the potential for the videogame medium to expand beyond optically-true perspectives. In fact, this paper argues the development of videogames as an expressive medium depends on an understanding of cinematic perspective as a form of visual cliché’


A Short and Simple Definition of What a Videogame Is

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

Videogames have been studied seriously only for a few years. So, we can wonder how we could use the recent academic works to approach new design methods. This article proposes a first step: a short and simple definition of what a videogame is, this definition being connected with existing academic works about game, play, interactivity, and narrative. The definition is: A videogame is a game which we play thanks to an audiovisual apparatus and which can be based on a story. The article also shows what the videogame heritage teaches us about what a videogame is.