The Poetics of Game Design, Rhetoric and the Independent Game


DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play
DiGRA/Utrecht School of the Arts, January, 2011
Volume: 6
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

This paper approaches the question about games as art from a fundamentally different perspective. Instead of asking questions of visual aesthetics and pursuing analogies to film or commercial arts, it demonstrates an even clearer analogy to poetic forms. Allying common practices in independent games in particular, this paper serves as an illustrative demonstration of the poetics of game design, emphasizing the poetic properties of independent game designs. It frames game design in terms of the rhetorical devices used to create an experience. Such framing is useful to independent game designers, developers of persuasive and critical gameplay, and archivists seeking an effective way to catalog digital games that is driven by structure instead of subject or play mechanic.