Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Brown, Douglas. "Gaming DNA: On Narrative and Gameplay Gestalts." Digital Games Research Association Conference, Japan, September 24-28, 2007.

The study of digital games is a rapidly developing new area of research to which many of the methods of conventional literary criticism are being applied in fascinating ways. Here is the abstract of Brown's paper which is a great illustration of this:
This paper takes the concept of the ‘Gameplay Gestalt’ as advanced by Craig Lindley [7] as a basis for a fresh look at how games are read and designed. Disagreeing with Lindley’s assertion of gameplay over narrative, it puts forward a model of the game as a construct of authored gestalt interplay, and concentrates on the links between the physical process of playing the game and the interpretative process of ‘reading’ it. A wide variety of games are put forward as examples, and some analyses of major ‘moments’ in classic games are deconstructed. The concept of the ‘sublime’ as applicable to games is examined as is the use of gameplay and narrative to generate ‘illusory agency’, which can make a game more than the sum of its parts.
For the full paper, please go to For the other papers, please go to

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