Alexander GallowayEdit

Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture [2006]Edit

games as algorithmic cultural objects (defined in terms of their computational, not gamerly, nature. This is because video games are actions (machine/operator distinction). Galloway refuses the idea that video games are just games played on computers. Rather, part of the medium is how they are constituted by the machinic phylum.

Diagetic: games total world of narrative action

nondiagetic: those elements of play from the gaming apparatus external to the world of narrative action (HUD, score, etc)

the axes of machine/operator and diagetic/nondiagetic is meant to encompass the entire range of gamic action, as understood as formal qualities (8). This breaks into"

  1. diagetic machine acts: cut scenes, ambient moments
  1. nondiagetic operator acts: events executed by the operator, outside of the narrative but still part of the software (pressing pause, cheats or hacks)
  1. diagetic operator acts (movements and expression acts)
  1. nondiagetic machine acts (autosaving, score enhancement, crashes, game over, etc); disabling and enabling acts, but also machinic embodiments that construct game design

In his second essay, Galloway explores the subjective POV shot as the filmic precursor to the FPS (subjective shot + weapon). Gamic vision requires fully rendered, actionable spaces. In gamic vision, time and space are mutable within the diegesis in ways unavailable before. Gaming can also elevate the status of the artificial to the aesthetic.