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.

 

More Than A Craze: Photographs of New Zealand’s early digital games scene


Swalwell Melanie
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

"More Than A Craze" is an online exhibition consisting of 46 photographs of New Zealand's early digital games scene, in the 1980s. The exhibition includes the work of some of New Zealand's best known documentary photographers – Ans Westra, Christopher Matthews, Robin Morrison – with images from the archives of Wellington's Evening Post and Auckland's Fairfax newspapers. These photographers captured images of games, gamers and gameplay in the moment when these were novel. These images are significant in that they offer insights into the early days of digital games. They are an important primary source material for researchers interested in the history of play and interactive entertainment. The exhibition has been curated by Melanie Swalwell and Janet Bayly. It is an online exhibition, hosted by Mahara Gallery, Waikanae (http://www.maharagallery.org.nz). It is one of the outcomes of Swalwell's research into the history of digital games in New Zealand, in the 1980s.

 

You Played That? Game Studies Meets Game Criticism


Thomas David Zagal José P. Robertson Margaret Bogost Ian Huber William
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

While game criticism has been largely tied to the world of enthusiast press game reviews, the emergence of the academic field of game studies and the maturing world of game journalism opens new opportunities to consider the future of the game critique. Today, the critical dialog around games can approach its subject from several vectors—social, psychological, historical, aesthetic, philosophical and more. Despite the rich opportunities to discuss games, and the methodologies available to the would-be critic, the vast majority of games criticism remains produced by the review culture-bound world of game journalism. Developments in the academic world of game studies provide an approach into the emerging dialog about games, like the best ones on w88fm.com, as individual artifacts and their worth therein. Rather than seeing games and genres as fuel for domain and disciple specific ideological and conceptual arguments, individual games are being viewed as discrete cultural artifacts worthy of discussion, dissent, examination and dissection. Likewise, the games press corps and the gaming public express a growing interest in more experimental, intellectual and challenging game writing. Game reviewing has shown a developing maturity in the area of game criticism. Inside these twin vectors falls a conversation about game criticism. What is game criticism? How should the academy claim its place alongside game journalism as a productive voice in game criticism? Who does it serve? How should it be done? What should game criticism be?

 

The Cheating Assemblage in MMORPGs: Toward a sociotechnical description of cheating


Paoli Stefano De Kerr Aphra
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper theoretically and empirically explores cheating in MMORPGs. This paper conceptualises cheating in MMORPGs as a sociotechnical practice which draws upon a non-linear assemblage of human actors and non-human artefacts, in which the practice of cheating is the result or the outcome of an assemblage. We draw upon the assemblage conceptualizations proposed in [16] and [8] and on empirical data taken from a pilot study we have conducted during the period September-November 2008 and from an ethnography we are conducting in the MMORPG Tibia (http://www.tibia.com) since January 2009. This game in particular was chosen because CipSoft, the company that develops the game, launched an anticheating campaign at the beginning of 2009.

 

Three Shadowed Dimensions of Feminine Presence in Video Games


Cosima Rughiniș Răzvan Rughiniș Toma Elisabeta
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Representations of femininity in video games and other media are often discussed with reference to the most popular games, their protagonists and their sexist predicament. This framing leaves in shadow other dimensions. We aim to identify some of them and to open a broader horizon for examining and designing femininity and gender in games. To this end we look into games with creative portrayals of feminine characters, diverging from the action-woman trope: The Walking Dead, The Path, and 80 Days. We talk in dialogue with scholars, but also with a digital crowd-critique movement for films and games, loosely centered on instruments such as the Bechdel-Wallace test and the TV Tropes.org wiki. We argue that the central analytical dimension of female character strength should be accompanied by three new axes, in order to examine feminine presence across ages, in the background fictive world created by the game, and in network edges of interaction.

 

Diversity of Play


Fuchs Mathias Palmer Karen Ensslin Astrid Krzywinska Tanya Rautzenberg Markus
2015 DiGRA Books

Based on the keynote lectures held at DiGRA2015, the publication "Diversity of Play" provides a critical view on the current state of digital games from theoretical, artistic, and practical perspectives. With an interview with Karen Palmer and essays by Astrid Ensslin, Mathias Fuchs, Tanya Krzywinska, and Markus Rautzenberg, Diversity of Play explores the uncanny in games, the power of “unnatural” narratives, and the exceptions and uncertainties of digital ludic environments. See also: http://meson.press/books/diversity-of-play/

 

Playability and Player Experience Research [Panel Abstracts]


Nacke Lennart E. Drachen Anders Kuikkaniemi Kai Niesenhaus Joerg Korhonen Hannu Hoogen Wouter M. van den Poels Karolien IJsselsteijn Wijnand A. IJsselsteijn
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

As the game industry matures and games become more and more complex, there is an increasing need to develop scientific methodologies for analyzing and measuring player experience, in order to develop a better understanding of the relationship and interactions between players and games. This panel gathers distinguished European playability and user experience experts to discuss current findings and methodological advancements within player experience and playability research.

 

Glitch Game Testers: African American Men Breaking Open the Console


DiSalvo Betsy James Guzdail Mark Mcklin Tom Meadows Charles Perry Kenneth Steward Corey Bruckman Amy S.
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Glitch Game Testers is a research project to develop a sustainable high school job program to train and employ high school students as game testers [1]. Our goal is to leverage the passion that young urban African American men have for video games into agency with technology. The first step is to encourage these young people to see the computation behind digital games and the second step is to offer a contextualized computing curriculum [2]. In this paper, we will present findings from formative work on the play practices of young African American men, introduce the Glitch Game Testers project, and report on preliminary findings from workshops. By looking at the intersection of race and gender in gaming practices, we have developed Glitch to specifically meet the cultural needs for young African American men.

 

Kingdom Hearts, Territoriality and Flow


Huber William Mandiberg Stephen
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper explores the relationship between companies Square-Enix and Disney as played out within the games of the Kingdom Hearts (キングダムハーツ) franchise. We contrast the relationship between these two transnational companies within the franchise's aesthetics and theoretical logics over the course of the various games. We are particularly interested in the games' own thematization and problematization of concepts of globalization, transnationalism and cultural flow. The games narratively and interactively foreground the collapse of membranes that separate worlds, producing legitimate and illegitimate modes of territoriality and intermixture.

 

Role-Playing Games: The State of Knowledge [Panel Abstracts]


Drachen Anders Copier Marinka Montola Markus Eladhari Mirjam Hitchens Michael Stenros Jaakko
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Role-playing games form one of the major genres of games and exist across all hardware platforms as well outside of the technology domain in a huge variety of forms and formats. Role-playing oriented research has focused on culture, storytelling, game processes as well as e.g. user interaction, play experience and character design. Today role-playing games research is an established component of game studies. This panel presents a state of the art of the knowledge of role-playing games research covering a great variety of angles and interests, providing an overview of the current hot topics and future research directions within one of the key genres of games.