Notes: The Rhetoric of Video Games

  • Bogost argues video games = form of persuasive communication like written or spoken language.
    • Convey meaning and influence players through gameplay mechanics and interactive systems.
  • Concept of “procedural rhetoric” involves using game mechanics to make persuasive arguments.
    • In video games, the rules and interactions themselves convey messages and ideologies.
  • Some video games are intentionally designed to persuade players or convey specific messages.
    • These “persuasive games” aim to provoke thought, spark debate, or promote social and political awareness.
  • Video games can simulate complex real-world systems, allowing players to explore and understand them.
    • They can represent issues like politics, economics, and social dynamics, offering unique perspectives.
  • “Critical play” involves playing video games with a critical mindset, analyzing the rhetoric and cultural significance of the games.
    • Players can question the values and messages embedded in games.
  • Video games serve as a medium for commentary on cultural and social issues.
    • They can challenge established norms, provoke discussions, and offer alternative viewpoints
  •  Persuasive games can impact players’ attitudes and behaviors.
    • They can contribute to shaping public opinion and influencing societal discourse.


I’m interested in possibly encouraging players to discuss the themes and ideas presented in my game with media integration. I also hope to persuade players of my specific message of bystanderism, so I will work to use narrative elements, gameplay mechanics, and visual cues to effectively communicate my message. I will design scenarios that prompt players to think deeply about the issues I’m addressing and the values embedded in my game.

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