Ambivalent Violence in Contemporary Game Design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
43 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

Fingerprint

Video Games
Motion Pictures
computer game
cinema
Violence
violence
Theft
narrative
larceny
ambivalence
rhetoric
dialogue
trend
Cinema
Players
Procedural
Visual Space
Rhetoric
Juxtaposition
Textual Analysis

Bibliographical note

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

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

Cite this

Ambivalent Violence in Contemporary Game Design. / Maloney, Marcus.

In: Games and Culture, Vol. 14, No. 1, 01.2019, p. 26-45.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{5cf721b643674ec7a7619bfc5f5196b9,
title = "Ambivalent Violence in Contemporary Game Design",
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.",
keywords = "ambivalence, film violence, procedural rhetoric, textual analysis, violent video games",
author = "Marcus Maloney",
note = "Copyright {\circledC} and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1555412016647848",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "26--45",
journal = "Games and Culture",
issn = "1555-4120",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ambivalent Violence in Contemporary Game Design

AU - Maloney, Marcus

N1 - Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

PY - 2019/1

Y1 - 2019/1

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - ambivalence

KW - film violence

KW - procedural rhetoric

KW - textual analysis

KW - violent video games

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85010999946&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/1555412016647848

DO - 10.1177/1555412016647848

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 26

EP - 45

JO - Games and Culture

JF - Games and Culture

SN - 1555-4120

IS - 1

ER -