Lab 8- Video Games

Video games are rhetorical objects that rely on an inversion of the first person perspective, whereas the player naturally assumes an ostensibly different perspective and is faced with unique choices. Often, the players agency is extended, even magnified by the in game mechanics (IE slowing time in Prince of Persia, being a Jedi in Knights in the Old Republic), and the player goes on to affect great change in the natural world.

With this extended agency, players are then placed in scenarios in which they have varying amounts of freedom to act, and are often pushed towards one choice or the other by the scenario itself. It is in this manner that the video game designers create rhetorical scenarios, and can easily convince you through the in game atmosphere to act in a certain way. These decisions are made by the player just as in real life: by weighing the current situation against their value set. However, within the game lies different exigencies and value systems, often causing the player to act in a way inconsistent with his real life.

While this new found agency nor the value system inherently transfers from game to real life, it speaks to what we would do in these situations given the chance, and as such speaks to what we personally might accept. Since the game designers drew upon their own experiences and their own understandings of the world, then the scenarios, in some sense, reflect how the designers see the world and how the culture sees itself.


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