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Started by droqen, November 29, 2022, 08:15:13 PM
Quote from: AbstractThis article proposes a critical review of the literature on procedural rhetoric, from a game design perspective. The goal of the article is to show the limits of procedural rhetorics for the design and analysis of ethics and politics in games. The article suggests that theories of play can be used to solve these theoretical flaws.
Quote"If Playtime has a plot, it's how the curve comes to reassert itself over the straight line" (Tati, 1967; minute 7:20). In this article I will argue that this line should also be the plot for game studies.
QuoteMy goal here is [..] advocating, finally, for a player-centric approach to the design of games, particularly the design of ethics and politics in(to) games.
QuoteThe first section presents [..] the core proceduralist tradition. [..] The Proceduralists [..]For the proceduralists, a game means what the rules mean, and understanding what games are is to understand what their rules describe. Players are important, but only as activators of the process that sets the meanings contained in the game in motion.[..]It would be possible to argue that perhaps these designers do not intend to be considered "designers", with all the cultural and methodological implications of the term, but "artists". This change would allow us to read their statements in a different way - as a poetic rather than as an explanation of design. The implications of this change of perspective are troublesome, particularly if we account for the conceptual mess that "art" and "artists" are.
QuoteIn the second section, the concept of Instrumental Play will be introduced. [..] Understanding Instrumental Play [..]Proceduralism, with its call for systems at the core of the essence of games and its disregard for expressive or ineffective play, turns the act of playing a game into a labor-like action, into work towards an externally decided, predetermined, and rational outcome designed by others than the players. Play becomes external to the player and the play context. [..]It is almost as if proceduralists were designing against play[..]Play is the unknown and the uncontrollable, and by building an ontology based on designer-centric reason, the proceduralists eliminate the myth and the ritual from play, and encourage an instrumental approach to games that is exclusively guided by the rules, norms and processes embedded in the game system.
QuoteArguably, these [proceduralist] designers are aware of games, and are in fact very concerned about player experience (Blow, 2007; Blow, 2010). However, all these designers feel compelled to write statements about the meaning of their games.
QuoteSection four [three] will focus on the critique of proceduralist rhetoric and the suggestion of a set of concepts that will allow for the understanding of games as systems without sacrificing the presence of the player and play as fundamental elements of the political and ethical relevance of games. [..] Against Procedurality
QuoteThe main argument of the critique against procedurality has to do with its lack of interest in the player and play.
QuoteMany of the games produced and analyzed under the proceduralist domain [..] are seldom playful in a mechanical, procedural sense: these are single player, puzzle or resource management games, with only few "operations" available to players, and a very limited space of possibility in which players can express themselves.
Quote[..] we need a theory of play that accounts for, and complements, the proceduralist discourse.
QuoteWithout the player there are no ethics or politics, no values and no messages. Objects can have embedded values, technology can be political, but only inasmuch as there is a human who makes the politics.
QuotePlayers don't need the designer - they need a game, an excuse and a frame for play.
QuoteAs game researchers, we should focus, like Tati, on how curves reassert themselves over straight lines, and how that reassertion is a process and a matter of beauty.