Player and Figure: An Analysis of a Scene in Kentucky Route Zero


DiGRA Nordic '14: Proceedings of the 2014 International DiGRA Nordic Conference
DiGRA, 2014
Volume: 11
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

Discussions of the relation between the player and the figure under her control have identified a duality between the figure as ‘avatar’ and ‘character’. This paper argues that two separate dualities are being conflated: an ontological duality in the figure, by which it is both self and other for the player, and a duality in the player’s relation to it, which can be both subjective and objective. This insight is used as the basis for developing a two-axis model that identifies four aspects to the player-figure relation. This model is then put to work on a close analysis of a scene in Kentucky Route Zero (Cardboard Computer 2013), which will serve to demonstrate the dimensions of the player-figure relation.