The Rhetoric of Video Games

On Thursday, December 13, 2012 0 comments

Video games are pretty awesome. That is self-evident. However, why are video games so cool? It’s because video games are a powerful, interactive medium. They engage players in ways that books or movies can only jealously dream about. Because it is interactive, video games employ a different kind of rhetoric than other entertainment. This rhetoric is the why. Over these next few posts, I am going to explore how video games engage players. So come with me, and together we can explore exactly what makes video games so darn awesome.

There are so many areas of rhetoric in video games, it would be TL;DR central if I crammed them into one post. Different topics are in different posts for your reading convenience. Click on whatever topic looks interesting!

Sharing Sight: The use of perspective controls the degree of separation the player has from onscreen events. 

Seeing is believing: Perspective influences how emotionally attached a player will feel to the character, depending on whether or not they view them as an extension of themselves. 

Looking Down from Heaven: An explanation of why torturing Sims is both fun and rhetorically effective.

Winning Terms: What do the goals of a game say about the beliefs of the creators?

Your Objective is Anarchy: Learn how questioning authority and free-thinking can be built into the medium using goals.

Madness in the Method: The developers betray a lot about their own belief system in the way they program their game. 


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