Philosophies of Progress in AAA vs Indie Gaming

With the continuously rising prominence of successful indie games and the dawn of perhaps the final console generation upon us, it seems inevitable that the evolution of videogames will no longer be conceived in terms of distinct technological leaps. While the current generation’s (PS4, Xbox One) processing power has allowed for much greater nuance in … Read more

Reflection and Ludocriticism

For all the entertainment that virtual being in a videogame can provide, it can also be a particularly alluring and even potentially dangerous form of fictive immersion. Now that we’ve already touched on the formal operation of videogame immersion elsewhere (which I’d recommend having read first) it seems like a logical next step to discuss the phenomenon’s ethical implications. With reference to Marcel O’Gorman’s book, Necromedia, this post will explore the videogame industry’s culpability in a technoculture that idealizes gaming as an infinite cycle of immersive consumption. In response to this problem, I will consider how reflection on one’s gameplay experiences can disturb this cycle and thus work gameplay productively back to its origin in the finite self – that is, the player as human.

On Immersion: The Ludo/Narrative Dichotomy

Immersion has long been conceived as the principal aesthetic of the videogame medium. Although a rather vague term philosophically, gamers usually figure immersion as a powerful mental investment, a psychic transition, into a game’s virtual world. To be immersed in a work of fiction is to be deeply involved, whether spatially, epistemically, and/or emotionally. Yet, … Read more

The LudoCrit Manifesto

LudoCrit’s bottom line is to analyze the formal elements of a game’s design, and particularly its narrative design (i.e. elements of the game design that support its narrative themes), to better understand how they inform our interpretation of a game’s meaning as we interact with its interface, systems, and mechanics during gameplay.

While it’s crucial to remain cognisant of how our selected games are always still games at their core, and to acknowledge the imperfections in their design, our particular focus is to come to understand how these games can potentially transcend mere pleasure and become contemplative experiences.