The Rhetoric of Videogames as Embodied Practice : Procedural Habits book cover
1st Edition

The Rhetoric of Videogames as Embodied Practice
Procedural Habits

ISBN 9780367890902
Published December 10, 2019 by Routledge
286 Pages

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Book Description

The Rhetoric of Videogames as Embodied Practice offers a critical reassessment of embodiment and materiality in rhetorical considerations of videogames. Holmes argues that rhetorical and philosophical conceptions of "habit" offer a critical resource for describing the interplay between thinking (writing and rhetoric) and embodiment. The book demonstrates how Aristotle's understanding of character (ethos), habit (hexis), and nature (phusis) can productively connect rhetoric to what Holmes calls "procedural habits": the ways in which rhetoric emerges from its interactions with the dynamic accumulation of conscious and nonconscious embodied experiences that consequently give rise to meaning, procedural subjectivity, control, and communicative agency both in digital game design discourse and the activity of play.

Table of Contents


Part I: Theorizing Procedural Habits

1. Persuasive Technologies in the Rhetoric of Videogames

2. From Persuasive Technologies to Procedural Habits

Part II: Thinking Persuasive Technologies Differently

3. Affective Design and the Captivation of Memory in First-Person Shooter


4. Gamification and Suggestion Technologies (Kairos) Beyond Critique

5. Achieving Eudaimonia in Free-to-Play Social Media Games

6. The Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Nonhuman Computational Actors

7. The Materiality of Play as Public Rhetoric Pedagogy


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Steve Holmes is Assistant Professor of English at George Mason University, USA


"This book offers scholars in game studies and rhetoric and composition a much needed theoretical lens for examining how habit, or hexis, creates a rhetorical force in games." – Rebekah Shultz Colby, University of Denver

"The Rhetoric of Videogames as Embodied Practice points us to a massive blind spot in the field of digital rhetoric—the mundane technologies that persuade us. The habits that emerge from our engagement with such technologies have not yet been a central concern to those studying rhetoric and digital games, and Holmes provides us with an impressive theoretical toolkit to remedy that problem." --James Brown, Rutgers University-Camden

"In The Rhetoric of Videogames as Embodied Practice, Holmes provides an important, even transcendent perspective about how fields such as rhetoric, composition, and writing studies might study videogames in ways that go beyond traditional approaches that have often limited how and what videogames are studied." --Sean Morey, University of Tennessee, Knoxville