[Literary Games Group] 21/7/21 – Definitions and Cycles

Hi again everyone,

This week we looked at the first chapter of “Gaming and the Virtual Sublime: Rhetoric, Awe, Fear, and Death in Contemporary Video Games”, by Matthew Spokes, in which Spokes grapples with broader questions regarding the inherent nature of video games as a definable entity. He examined them from a few different perspectives, but there was a section that was plucked out as being particularly relevant to our group. Spokes says:”research on the impact of games, in terms of their power to offer new ‘possibility spaces’ (Salen & Zimmerman, 2004), socio-political engagement and critical tools for understanding a changing world will begin to show the affective resonance of this form of popular culture, and how far removed it has become from simplistic notions of passively consumed entertainment.”

In the simplest words, games can be (and are) more than just reskinned formulas.

Our reading for next week is Chapter 2 of Spokes’ book, “The Classical Sublime”.

On top of that, we started the semester with Silent Hill 4: The Room’s best level, which showcases the spectacular monster, level and puzzle design of Team Silent at work, the “Water Prison World”. This world works by constructing a layered panopticon with a circular design, meaning that at no moment are you safe or unexposed to danger, and there is always a blind spot around each corner, which means that eerie monsters can ambush you at any time. On top of this, the game is narratively and symbolically engrossing, using any number of fantastically clever tricks to rope you in.

You can purchase the game for yourself here.

Next week we should begin our playthrough of “The Outer Wilds”.

Hope to see you all next week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *