The Rhetoric of Video Games


  • Video games are a form of persuasive media and can be considered rhetoric
  • Procedural rhetoric: processes in video games that send a message to persuade players
  • Games are expressive and interactive in nature so they are incredible mediums to create meaningful experiences
  • Persuasive games for education, activism, etc, especially when simulating real-world events
  • Games as a way to model and communicate how the real world operates
  • Game ideology is important to consider in game design because they can challenge cultural norms and beliefs
  • Bring up moral dilemmas in games to challenge players’ values and beliefs through interactive decision-making
  • Mechanics, art, and rhetoric all contribute to a persuasive game!

Application to My Game

This article reminded me that games are an incredibly powerful tool for simulating the injustices in the real world that players live in. In my interactive fiction, economic inequality and scarcity is so severe that people start exchanging their lifetime years for a source of income just to get by. Although I feel that my narrative is compelling, I need to add more hints or nudges that remind readers that my IF is a simulation of the economic inequalities in the real world, with greedy corporations and the top 1% taking advantage of those who belong to underserved communities. By encouraging players to acknowledge the commonalities that my IF share with the real world, perhaps people will become more concerned about social stratification and more empathetic towards those who are victims of it.

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