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Archive for the ‘Critical Game Theory’ Category

One area of game studies that interests me is how we read and analyze games, which is related to how we analyze literature. In literary studies, we have multiple approaches to analyzing a story, from psychological readings and author analysis to symbol and metaphor. It is this vocabulary in particular that I feel has strong relevance with games and with designing games that can present meaningful content to their audiences using the ‘unique and universal language of games’.

One idea that sprang to my mind was the analysis of broad structures commonly found in games – that is, mechanics, verbs, and formal elements (or in addition, might there be a message behind each medium?). One such analysis was defined by Janet Murray in Hamlet on the Holodeck. Her discussion on metaphor in games under “Games as Symbolic Dramas” provides some context here (Murray: 1997, 142-145). Murray defines certain metaphors inherent to game fundamentals such as winning and losing, puzzles and goals:

  • I encounter a confusing world and figure it out. (more…)

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