Conference Proceedings

Whose mind is the signal? Focalization in video game narratives

F Allison

DiGRA 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference: Diversity of Play | DiGRA | Published : 2015


In this paper, I explore instances in which video games convey an experience of subjectivity, utilizing an appropriation of Gérard Genette’s (1980) concept of focalization. Through an analysis of The Sims 3 (The Sims Studio 2009), Top Spin 4 (2K Czech 2011), Mirror’s Edge (EA Digital Illusions CE 2008) and Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North 2014), I demonstrate that internal focalization can be made apparent in a video game through its audiovisual presentation, its selection and restriction of private knowledge, and its ludic affordances. I provide a framework for analyzing games that seek to present a diversity of perspectives, and to allow players to access modes of thinking that accord wi..

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