The micro-rhetorics of Game-O-Matic

Mike Treanor, Bobby Schweizer, Ian Bogost, Michael Mateas

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

21 Scopus citations


Micro-rhetorics are the representational units of meaning that emerge from the rhetorical affordances of videogame mechanics, abstract gameplay patterns, and thematic depiction. This paper explains the concept of micro-rhetorics, how game dynamics can be interpreted, and how designers can make use of game mechanics to express ideas through simple videogames. This theoretical framework is informed by the design of Game-O-Matic, a videogame authoring tool that generates games to represent ideas. It takes a network of basic relationships between actors and assembles simple arcade-style game mechanics into videogames that are able to make arguments and depict ideas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFoundations of Digital Games 2012, FDG 2012 - Conference Program
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012
Event2012 Foundation of Digital Games Conference, FDG 2012 - Raleigh, NC, United States
Duration: May 29 2012Jun 1 2012

Publication series

NameFoundations of Digital Games 2012, FDG 2012 - Conference Program


Conference2012 Foundation of Digital Games Conference, FDG 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityRaleigh, NC


  • Game design
  • Game interpretation
  • Procedural rhetoric


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