Proceduralist readings: How to find meaning in games with graphical logics

Mike Treanor, Bobby Schweizer, Ian Bogost, Michael Mateas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Newsgames and artgames, two genres in which designers wish to communicate messages to players, often deploy procedural representation. Understanding these proceduralist games requires special attention to a game's processes as well as how these interact with its theme and aesthetics. In this paper we present a method for proceduralist readings of arcade-like 2D games so that players can determine their range of intended and unintended meanings, critics can assess the strengths and weaknesses of the presented arguments, and designers can identify ways to refine their rhetorical strategies. Through identifying the components of games that can be interpreted and emphasizing where cultural considerations influence interpretations, we present a framework for meaning derivations that strive to take the entirety of a game into consideration. As demonstrated by several examples, this framework requires much more explicit and formal arguments for why a game carries a meaning and precisely where each component of one's argument came from.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2011
Pages115-122
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Event6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2011 - Bordeaux, France
Duration: Jun 29 2011Jul 1 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2011

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, FDG 2011
CountryFrance
CityBordeaux
Period06/29/1107/1/11

Keywords

  • Game design
  • Game interpretation
  • Procedural rhetoric

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