The Composition of Video Games

Narrative, Aesthetics, Rhetoric and Play


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SKU: 9781476673936 Categories: , , , ,
Imprint or Series:Studies in Gaming

About the Book

Video games are a complex, compelling medium in which established art forms intersect with technology to create an interactive text. Visual arts, architectural design, music, narrative and rules of play all find a place within, and are constrained by, computer systems whose purpose is to create an immersive player experience. In the relatively short life of video game studies, many authors have approached the question of how games function, some focusing on technical aspects of game design, others on rules of play. Taking a holistic view, this study explores how ludology, narratology, visual rhetoric, musical theory and player psychology work (or don’t work) together to create a cohesive experience and to provide a unified framework for understanding video games.

Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Johansen Quijano has been studying games, gaming, and gamer culture for over a decade. Although his early work focused on gaming and language acquisition, he quickly turned his attention to game theory and the rhetoric of games. He has published in several anthologies and journals, participated in translation, adaptation, and creative videogame projects, and presented in local, national, and international conferences. He is currently an assistant professor of English at Tarrant County College where he lectures on writing, literature, and media.

Series editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell teaches American studies, anthropology, and writing at Pace University in New York.

Bibliographic Details

Johansen Quijano

Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7393-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3715-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Studies in Gaming

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Setting the Groundwork 7
The Lack of a Unified Framework 9
What Is a Game Anyway? 13
Revisiting Play and Narrative 24
Redefining Types of Players 33
The Role of the Player 41

Chapter 2: Narrative at Play: Game Composition and Story 53
The Question of Ergodicity 55
Linearity, the Story and Narrative 67
The Chronotope and Sideshadowing 73
Multiple Layers and ­Time-Looped Narrative 84
Play and Space as Narrative 94

Chapter 3: The Rhetoric of Games 108
Design, Play, Remediation, Solvency and Space as a Rhetoric of Games 109
A Rhetoric of Procedure 119
The Visual Rhetoric of Games 131

Chapter 4: Audiovisual Ludonarrativity 149
A Harmony of Dissonance 150
Expanding Ludonarrativity Through Rhetoric 160
The Aural Dimension 172

Chapter 5: Themes and Audiovisual Ludonarrativity 182
Alchemy at Dawn: Ayesha’s Time Management Dilemma 184
Hax0r Is the 1337: Watch_D0gs and the Failed Surveillance State 192

Conclusion: Game Over—Insert Coin to Continue 208
Works Cited 217
Index 231