1st Edition

Multimodal Semiotics and Rhetoric in Videogames

By Jason Hawreliak Copyright 2019
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book merges recent trends in game studies and multimodal studies to explore the relationship between the interaction between videogames’ different modes and the ways in which they inform meaning for both players and designers. The volume begins by laying the foundation for integrating the two disciplines, drawing upon social semiotic and discourse analytic traditions to examine their relationship with meaning in videogames. The book uses a wide range of games as examples to demonstrate the medium’s various forms of expression at work, including audio, visual, textual, haptic, and procedural modes, with a particular focus on the procedural form, which emphasizes processes and causal relationships, to better showcase its link with meaning-making. The second half of the book engages in a discussion of different multimodal configurations and user generated content to show how they contribute to the negotiation of meaning in the player experience, including their role in constructing and perpetuating persuasive messages and in driving interesting and unique player decisions in gameplay. Making the case for the benefits of multimodal approaches to game studies, this volume is key reading for students and researchers in multimodal studies, game studies, rhetoric, semiotics, and discourse analysis.

    Introduction: Deepening the Conversation between Multimodal Studies and Game Studies

    PART I: Setting the Stage

    Chapter 1: Play, Videogames, and the Problem of Meaning

    Chapter 2: The Videogame Modes

    Chapter 3: The Procedural Mode

    PART II: Modal Configurations

    Chapter 4: Modal Consonance I: Ideological and Experiential Persuasion

    Chapter 5: Modal Consonance II: Multimodal Realism, Simulation, and Virtual Reality

    Chapter 6: Modal Irony: Multimodal Dissonance

    PART III: Players, Mods, and Future Directions

    Chapter 7: Unstable Ensembles: User Generated Content

    Chapter 8: Conclusion: The Future of Multimodal Game Studies


    Jason Hawreliak is an assistant professor of game studies at Brock University’s Centre for Digital Humanities. His research examines the semiotic, rhetorical, and cultural functions of interactive media with an emphasis on multimodality in videogames. He is a co-founder of the online game studies periodical, First Person Scholar.