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The Rhetoric of Video Games

January 1, 2008

Part of the Volume on the Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning Bogost's chapter offers an introduction to rhetoric in games. First he looks at the way games and their rules embody cultural values, following the work of Brian Sutton-Smith and looking in particular at a few examples from international sports. Then he discusses the relationship between games and ideology, showing how game play can unpack and expose deeply engrained social, cultural, and political assumptions. Finally he discusses the ways videogames make arguments. Drawing on the history of rhetoric, Bogost introduces a notion he calls "procedural rhetoric," the art of persuasion through rule-based representations and interactions.

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