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Interpreting abstract games : the metaphorical potential of formal game elements

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dc.contributor.advisor Doris C. Rusch. en_US Begy, Jason Scott en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Comparative Media Studies. en_US 2010-10-29T13:53:15Z 2010-10-29T13:53:15Z 2010 en_US 2010 en_US
dc.description Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Comparative Media Studies, 2010. en_US
dc.description This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from student submitted PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 91-92). en_US
dc.description.abstract As cultural artifacts, abstract games offer unique challenges to critical interpretation. This is largely due to the fact that such games lack a fictional element: there are no characters, no settings, and no narratives to speak of. In this thesis I propose that understanding the various formal elements of games as metaphors can both serve as an effective critical method and offer insights into designing more expressive games. I begin by addressing the ambiguity surrounding the phrase "abstract game" and offer a definition rooted in Peircean semiotics and Juul's model of games as consisting of both rules and fiction. I next offer a model of games as consisting of three levels: the system, audio-visual, and affective. This is followed by an overview of Lakoff and Johnson's concept of "metaphor" as "understanding one thing in terms of another." I then argue that different types of metaphors have a natural affinity for the system and affective levels of games. From this I develop methods for a critical method wherein games are considered to be metaphors. I conclude with a discussion of this method's implications for game design and future game research. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Jason Scott Begy. en_US
dc.format.extent 93 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Comparative Media Studies. en_US
dc.title Interpreting abstract games : the metaphorical potential of formal game elements en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US S.M. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Comparative Media Studies. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 670220296 en_US

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