Don’t think that texture’s just a throwaway!

In this week’s reading of Ian Bogost’s, How To Do Tings With Videogames, I found myself pondering his chapters on Texture and Throwaways. At first glace I was intrigued by Bogost’s title, Texture, for the chapter. I really did not know what to expect given that in my mind texture meant tactile, something one touches, and in videogames you only touch the controller or the keys on a computer. It seemed odd that there would be anything else to add in terms of texture. After reading the chapter I realized that videogames create texture in a visual way with graphics and through the use of music and sound effects. Yet, what made me ponder further was this idea of user participation, Bogost’s says that participation is required in videogames. I think the participation he speaks of is more than the obvious participation as a player but in fact a participation of buying into what is actually being played. To some degree this reminds me of the ideas we have discussed in regards to film. In film an actor rarely breaks the fourth wall by speaking to the audience. Now personally when the fourth wall is broken it most often brings me in further to the movie given that I am being confronted by the actor and usually know something that another character may not know. I find that texture in fact does the same. Hence when a gamer feels the rumble of another car crashing into him in a race he does not just see it but feels it as well. To further the discussion in texture I would ask if the rumble in videogames is similar to that of 3D effects in film, why or why not?

Another note I would like to make is in regards to the chapter on Throwaways. Already having discussed casual games in class I found the Bogost added to the conversation by his three classifications of casual: indifferent, spontaneous or fleeting. More specifically, I thought that he makes a good point that casual games involve more total play time than ‘hardcore’ games and that these games almost need to resemble another game in order to more easily be picked up and played.  Thus, I’d like to pose the question, could a common ‘hardcore’ game be altered into a casual game? If so, what elements specifically would need to change? If not, why?

 

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1 Response to Don’t think that texture’s just a throwaway!

  1. I really like this closing question about possibly remaking a “hard core” game as a casual game. There’s a style of game design called “demakes”—adopting a modern game for an earlier platform, like Halo for the Atari VCS—and that might be one way to turn a serious game into a casual game.

    As an aside, this would also be a neat idea to pursue for the final project!

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