BCNM Alum Chris Gates on Function and Fiction in Videogames in Arts

05 Sep, 2018

BCNM Alum Chris Gates on Function and Fiction in Videogames in Arts

BCNM alum Chris Gates published his paper "Trellis and Vine: Weaving Function and Fiction in Videogame Play" in this year's third issue of the journal Arts.

From Chris' abstract:

This paper reviews and synthesizes ideas in the philosophy of play and relevant psychology research in order to address videogame medium specificity, with particular focus on the notion of videogame play as simultaneously “rule-bound” and “make-believe.” It offers the sustained analogy of “trellis and vine” for provisionally sorting through the tangle (the “mess” or “assemblage”) of function and fiction in games.

Read the full text of the paper here.

His article was published in a special issue devoted to "Gaming and the Art of Storytelling." From the call for submissions:

Storytelling encompasses narrative. As the vogue for "environmental storytelling" suggests in the case of digital games, narrative is only one way in which games tell stories. Concept and environment artists are storytellers. Character designers are storytellers. Level designers are storytellers. Game designers are storytellers. Marketers are storytellers. Streamers are storytellers.

What does the incorporation of our bodies into technological matrices and big data systems —such as we see with the rise of gaming—signal for the fortunes of storytelling? Is it time to further historicise the relations between information, storytellers and storytelling?

Arts is a peer-reviewed, open access scholarly journal that publishes new, significant research on all aspects of the visual and performing arts. Its goal is to promote critical inquiry, dialogue, and innovative approaches.