Video Games

Summary: Through the game Firewatch, define and explain the elements of a video game that the developers use to create meaning (that is, to get across ideas, values, critics, etc). Explain what the game means, i.e., its themes, its message, its central ideas.
Part 1. Play

Play Firewatch. If you have technical problems, contact me (or google them–there are a lot of good answers out there).

Part II: Write an analysis of the game, in the following structure:


Explain briefly what the theme of the game is. What does the game mean? What is it about? Explain what it intends to say (its central ideas or critical commentaries), through the experience it creates. This is your thesis.
Explain briefly what elements of the game you will analyze and offer as evidence.

2. Analysis

Analyze the different aspects of the game and explain how they contribute to creating the meaning (the theme you have singled out in the introduction) of the game. Some of the aspects of the game you can/should analyze are:

World (the setting, both the physical setting and the kind of world it is (deterministic, bleak, happy, etc).
Formal elements (such as color, sounds, etc).
Mechanics (what the player does, the choices the player can make, what the player does to win/complete the game)

Your analysis of each of these elements should be focused on proving your thesis. In other words, your analysis of all these elements should focus on explaining to the reader the ways in which each element reinforces or proves that the game means what you say it does. Below is a sample introduction to give you an idea of how to proceed:

3. Conclusion

In this part, write your conclusions. Talk about what the game means: what is/are its central ideas, what message does it send, what is the emotional/conceptual/ideological content of the experience it tries to create? What do the players learn from it, or take away from it? This part should be at least 1 page long.

Technical Specifications:
12 pt font, default margins, Arial or Times New Roman Font.