The Rhetoric of Video Games

Play is thought of as not serious because it is associated with children

“play is the free space of movement within a more rigid structure.”

  • Play is in the possibility space, which is created by rules

Procedurality – constraints that create possibility space

Rhetoric – persuasive speech, can be visual

Combined: Procedural Rhetoric!

– arguments about how things work or how they don’t

– playing game reveals an argument

– expose ideology by making rules that require following an ideology

– some procedures result in actions which reveal new procedures, this reveals an argument

Must control rhetoric or it will still exist but be uncontrolled

For my game, I want to implement purposeful procedural rhetoric. One idea I have is in relation to how rhetoric exposes ideology, as my player will be punished for not meeting their conviction quotas but not for doing unethical behavior within the game. I hope this exposes the ideology of the American prosecution system. Secondly, I want to have my procedures interact, in the way that your home budget will color your experience in your job, such that the procedures interact with each other to reveal an argument about why prosecutors act the way they do in real life. Finally, there will be a build up in my game similar to Animal Cross, in which the player will need to do more and more unethical things to continue progressing in the game. This will reveal how the prosecution system doesn’t work because it encouraged unethical practices.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.