The Rhetoric of Video Games

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The Rhetoric of Video Games by Mind Map: The Rhetoric of Video Games

1. Introduction

1.1. video games are used to make claims about the world

1.2. Players must learn to critique these claims that video games present

1.3. Animal Crossing teaches player about consuming and debt

2. Play

2.1. video games considered play

2.2. “play is the free space of movement within a more rigid structure.” - Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman

2.3. rules created within possibility space

2.4. rules game allows and disallows makes up games significance

3. Procedurality

3.1. procedures are sets of constraints that CREATE possibility spaces

3.2. principle value of computer; creates meaning through interaction of algorithms

3.3. video games allow people to learn both about aspects of the world and about procedurality

4. Rhetoric

4.1. rhetoric as a means of persuasion

4.2. negative connotation: "empty rhetoric"

4.3. visual rhetoric: ads, photographs, billboards

4.4. Digital rhetoric: wikis, twitter, email

4.5. But for scholars of digital rhetoric, to “function in digital spaces” often means mistaking subordinate properties of the computer for primary ones. -James P Zappen

5. Procedural Rhetoric

5.1. video games make claims about the world through their proccesses

5.2. "procedural rhetoric for the practice of using processes persuasively, just as verbal rhetoric is the practice of using oratory persuasively and visual rhetoric is the practice of using images persuasively"

5.3. How things work and don't work

5.4. The McDonald's Video Game

5.5. video games are used rhetorically

6. Ways of Using Procedural Rhetoric: Interrogating Ideology

6.1. video games used as a way to explain the hidden ways of thinking that drive social, political, or cultural behavior

6.2. all video games bear biases of their creators

6.3. America's Army:Operations; in game behavior affects ability to keep playing

7. Ways of Using Procedural Rhetoric: Making and Unpacking an Argument

7.1. video games can make claims about how a material or conceptual system works

7.2. Illinois House Republicans made game to show public policy positions

7.2.1. hoped to communicate dry complex topics to public

7.2.2. players not fooled into accepting position, but rather more informed to be able to critique it

7.3. Spore: meant to express creator Wright's view on astrobiology

8. Learning from Procedural Rhetoric

8.1. video games allow people to explore possibility space of rules

8.2. video games as a literacy to help people evaluate society

8.3. parents must play games with kids, and play them critically

8.4. used in schools to learn concrete facts such as concepts of chemistry

8.5. game development as entry point into computer science

8.6. video games, though no inherently so, can be used to make arguments, persuade, and express ideas