While allusions to Aristotle’s Poetics have been contentious in videogame discourse this paper seeks to show that there is immense value in using the conceptual terms and mechanisms that Aristotle introduced in his Poetics. They can be used to highlight the unique ways that games can create meaning both in their narrative structure and generated by gameplay. Moreover, using detailed definitions of key terms such as mimesis, catharsis and hamartia offer a useful lens for understanding narrative arcs in a medium that inherently confounds the structure of other narrative forms. This structure conforms to an arc of knowledge acquisition for both the player and player character. This process is illustrated using contemporary videogame discourse as well as Ninja Theory’s award-winning title Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2017).
|Early online date||21 Jul 2021|
|Publication status||Published online - 21 Jul 2021|
- video games
- narrative design
- digital poetics