Videogames between oral and written culture

The 2013 GDC game design lecture above is called Talking to the Player – How Cultural Currents Shape and Level Design, and its by Mathias Worch. Its interesting core point is looking at videogames as a form of secondary orality.

The talk goes in detail among many themes about the relationship between movies (linked to print, sequential logic) and games, and how their language and logic differs, and how much logic and coherence games require, because of their not strictly linear nature. Linear logics don’t “hit home”, because the right metaphor is conversation, not linear stories.

The core question is “how to assert authorship without hard-coding meaning”?

Game play as dialogue is yet another lens under which you should check your game design.

The talk has been reposted by Koster in the context of the ongoing debate on how games are / should be defined – but fortunately it is not necessary to get into that to gain all that is interesting from the talk above!

game / culture relationship

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Game worlds: the Romans

Photo: LEGO Roman Emperor games set in the Roman republic and empire is one of my obsessions.

As I’m convinced that many people will enjoy getting to know more about this empire history and culture that shapes so much of our lives, I tried to get in contact and serve the existing community of people that find the Romans interesting.

So a few months ago I started publishing news on Romans and videogames on a dedicated Facebook page.


The Romans and videogames

Photo: A Roman 20 sided-diceI’m not limiting my posts strictly to videogames, but I’m exploring all playful usages of the theme, occasionally inserting also ways to go more in depth on the Roman world using visual cues.

(Yes this is a Roman 20 sided dice!)




Monty Python boardgameThe Roman world being (represented as) classic and pompous, is the perfect target for irony; I’ve testified it several times in the Facebook stream, from the classic of Monty Python to Thermae Romae.

You can explore and subscribe my efforts here:

I’ve also been doing a lot of game design on Roman themed games, but this is the topic for another post- follow me on Twitter to keep in touch.

Roman boat in Minecraft

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