Ambivalent Violence in Contemporary Game Design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Through a textual analysis of three noted examples—Bioshock, Spec Ops: The Line, and Grand Theft Auto V—This article explores the capacity for ambivalence in violent video games. The analyses bring into dialogue film scholarship which has sought to understand a comparable trend in cinema with games scholarship, most notably Darley’s discussion of narrative “decentering” and Bogost’s notion of “procedural rhetoric.” In all three games, the core gameplay in which players are rewarded for repetition of violent behaviors is juxtaposed with ambivalent narrative-contextual aspects. However, in the more overtly “multidimensional” video games medium, this juxtaposition plays out in a more fractured manner than in the flatter visual space of cinema.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-45
Number of pages20
JournalGames and Culture
Volume14
Issue number1
Early online date17 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • ambivalence
  • film violence
  • procedural rhetoric
  • textual analysis
  • violent video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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