Gamic Actions and Procedural Rhetoric

In “Gamic Action, Four Movements”, Galloway describes video games as actions which can be categorized into four quadrants: diegetic machine acts, non-diegetic operator acts, diegetic operator acts, and non-diegetic machine acts. While I’m worried that I’ll never be able to play video games the same way again (I’ll always be analyzing the game and its actions), overall I agreed with Galloway’s points.

Together, all of these diegetic and non-diegetic machine and operator acts contribute to the process and algorithms of the video game. As the game/machine runs (and as the operator plays the game), the player takes part in a process which argues something about the way the world works. For example, in The Sims, the more items you purchase, the more you have to work (because you always want to purchase new items). While we might think that buying an item will improve our quality of life, in order to purchase the item, we have to work harder to earn money. By playing The Sims, the operator (player) may realize that buying new items/luxuries won’t actually make your life easier, and instead causes added stress.

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