The Rhetoric of Video Games


As far as my game goes, I think my goals will be two-fold:

1) Create an emotionally evocative experience that examines the concept of grief from the perspective of one (a dog) who does not know that feeling.

2) Teach players to both respect and admire the emotional sensitivity of dogs.

I really liked the opening analysis of Animal Crossing because it highlighted how the rhetoric was embedded into the player’s actions. You work to earn money, you pay to upgrade your house, that money goes to Tom Nook, his shop expands, and you are incentivized to earn more money for the next cycle. It encourages me to lean heavily into the aspects of my game that are “YOU ARE A DOG. DOING DOG THINGS.” Dogs can be extremely sensitive to emotion, particularly through their sense of smell. I think to really drive home both my goals/messages effectively, leveraging the action of smell is essential.

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