in Video Game Spaces: Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Worlds

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1 University Press Scholarship Online You are looking at 1-9 of 9 items for: keywords : game spaces Introduction mitpress/ This introductory chapter presents an overview of the main themes covered in this book, which explores the new universe that opened up with the introduction of 3D graphics to games. The first part of the book looks at how 3D space can reshape the textual qualities of video games. The second part concentrates on the roles of the moving image and sound in video game spaces. The third part considers the elements that shape the development of the actions as they unfold in 3D worlds. The chapter also addresses the question: What is a video game space? Players in the Video Game Space mitpress/ This chapter examines the player s position in a meaningful game space. It considers the question of presence in game worlds. What is the player s position in relation to these environments? A core argument here is that the player is a performer but can participate in the game world in more than one role. This allows for a multifaceted exploration of the virtual world and the game s setting. Page 1 of 5

2 Video Game Spaces: Image, Play, and Structure in 3D Worlds Item type: book mitpress/ The move to 3D graphics represents a dramatic artistic and technical development in the history of video games that suggests an overall transformation of games as media. The experience of space has become a key element of how we understand games and how we play them. This book investigates what this shift means for video game design and analysis. Navigable 3D spaces allow us to crawl, jump, fly, or even teleport through fictional worlds that come to life in our imagination. We encounter these spaces through a combination of perception and interaction. Drawing on concepts from literary studies, architecture, and cinema, the book argues that game spaces can evoke narratives because the player is interpreting them in order to engage with them. Consequently, it approaches game spaces not as pure visual spectacles but as meaningful virtual locations. The book s argument investigates what structures are at work in these locations, proceeds to an in-depth analysis of the audiovisual presentation of gameworlds, and ultimately explores how we use and comprehend their functionality. It introduces five analytical layers rule-based space, mediated space, fictional space, play space, and social space and uses them in the analyses of games that range from early classics to recent titles. The book revisits current topics in game research, including narrative, rules, and play, from this new perspective. The book provides a range of arguments and tools for media scholars, designers, and game researchers with an interest in 3D game worlds and the new challenges they pose. Defining Narrative mitpress/ This chapter discusses the concept of narrative in video game spaces. Narrative is best understood as a form of comprehension that can be triggered and affected by the game world. This comprehension is essential in order to make sense of the game space. It is argued that narrative elements do not tell a linear story, but provide evocative means Page 2 of 5

3 for the interactor to comprehend the virtual space and the events within it, and generate context and significance in order to make the space and the experience of it more meaningful. Combining Interaction and Narrative mitpress/ This chapter analyzes the merger of interactive and narrative elements in the game space. The discussions cover the story and plot; function and plot; discourse in video games; the quest; and the concept of the monomyth. It argues that without narrative elements, a 3D video game would be in danger of disintegrating into singular unconnected splinters of momentary interaction. The quest model offers a way to connect these instances through a narrative framework suitable for game spaces and promises to support a meaningful comprehension through spatial structuring. In this regard, the concept of the monomyth promises to support engaging game worlds as it offers some structural format but leaves its realization open to the player. Examples of Spatial Structures in Game Spaces mitpress/ This chapter discusses a number of significant spatial structures to determine the practical shape that architectural references take in the world of video game spaces. These structures arrange the spatial units in their own way: paths, edges, and regions, as well as the use of textures, vistas, and colors, define their appearance and functionality. Based on the connection between the spatial logic of architecture and its implementation in game worlds, the chapter closes with an abstracted model for space-driven functionality. In many ways, this model is a largescale version of the argument for evocative narrative elements in game spaces, one that projects them into larger terrains and levels. Page 3 of 5

4 Places of Shared Stories Page 4 of 5 mitpress/ Video games have become widespread cultural artifacts. As a result, video game spaces increasingly become places of cultural practice and cultural significance. How do they incorporate this quality? This chapter follows the development of story maps as they enter a shared cultural sphere. Defining Interaction mitpress/ This chapter discusses interaction in video game spaces. It discusses the element of abstraction and how it is applied, especially in interfaces for engaging with game spaces; how spatiality implies a simultaneous interactive access on multiple layers; and the element of narrative as it might be implemented in the interface design. Story Maps mitpress/ This chapter focuses on story maps. A player s navigation in a 3D virtual world depends on the creation of a cognitive map of the space just as it does in the physical world. A story map is the result of this reading of the game space in combination with the directed evocative narrative elements encountered along the way. The game space, the events it includes, and the position of the player in relation to them are dramatized and contextualized. The narrative evocative elements at

5 work do their best to affect the cognitive map. The result is the story map that consists of a form of cognitive map grown from the interplay of presentation and functionality, guidance, and player positioning. Page 5 of 5

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