Beyond God’s Eye: on the Reliability of Gameworld Images


This article questions the influence of visual enunciation of gameworlds on players’ spatial practices. It begins with a reminder that images are not naïve, followed by a brief review of the literature about the modernist ideological charge of two types of images widely used in games: maps and perspective projections. Considerations about the mediating role of game images leads to the hypothesis that games highlight the inseparability of the spatial practices known as mapping and touring (de Certeau 1984; Lammes 2008, 2009, 2015, 2018). The ideas are exemplified by the combined uses of maps and perspective images in 5 games. Results indicate that maps and central perspective reify Modern values and beliefs. They are more likely to challenge the stratification of spatial practices when encountered in combination or in intermediate forms such as oblique projections. Their potential is intensified by synchronicity and by releasing control of the point of view.