What are the exact aspects of the videogame medium, the precise features or combinations of features that lend themselves to expressing ideas and meaning? To chart this out, I begin with an American legal case that serves as a foundation for the basic issues involved and then move on to show how this relates to some of the broader attitudes the world of videogame discourse. Based on this, I break down the expressive strategies of videogames into three aspects—non-playable sequences, rule-based systems, and the relationship between the two—which I then illustrate with examples proving that videogames can indeed be an expressive medium.
One of the more interesting and distinct aspects of digital games is the proliferation of player produced artifacts. The reworking of original game materials is an integral part of game culture that cannot be ignored in the study of these games. This paper explores player authorship in digital games through the rhetoric of select peace-themed game modifications.
In this article the participants report on a two year research project titled Textuality and Videogames; Interactivity, Narrative Space and Role Play that ran from September 2001, until late 2003 at the Institute of Education, University of London. After presenting an overview of the project, including the methodologies we have adopted, and the questions we have sought to address, we outline two sample case studies, one that relates to player agency, the other that considers role-play, social semiotics and sign making in an MMORPG.