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Game Elements By

By  and Jason Scott BegyDoris C. Rusch, William Uricchio and Jason Scott Begy


of Science in Comparative Media Studies. As cultural artifacts, abstract games offer unique challenges to critical interpretation. This is largely due to the fact that such games lack a fictional element: there are no characters, no settings, and no narratives to speak of. In this thesis I propose that understanding the various formal elements of games as metaphors can both serve as an effective critical method and offer insights into designing more expressive games. I begin by addressing the ambiguity surrounding the phrase “abstract game ” and offer a definition rooted in Peircean semiotics and Juul’s model of games as consisting of both rules and fiction. I next offer a model of games as consisting of three levels: the system, audio-visual, and affective. This is followed by an overview of Lakoff and Johnson’s concept of “metaphor ” as “understanding one thing in terms of another. ” I then argue that different types of metaphors have a natural affinity for the system and affective levels of games. From this I develop methods for a critical method wherein games are considered to b

Year: 2010
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