Procedural Rhetoric and Validity of its Criticisms

What is Procedural Rhetoric and are the criticisms made against it by Miguel Sicart valid?

According to Sicart, as written in his piece “Against Procedurality”:

Proceduralism often disregards the importance of play and players as activities that have creative, performative properties. In this sense, the meaning of a game, of any game, lies in its rules…In the proceduralist tradition, play is not central to understanding the meanings created by (playing) games, since it is the rules that create those meanings. (Against Procedurality, 2011, para. 23)

and that:

In essence, procedural rhetoric argues that it is in the formal properties of the rules where the meaning of a game can be found. And what players do is actively complete the meaning suggested and guided by the rules. For proceduralists, which are after all a class of formalists, the game is the rules, both in terms of its ontological definition (the what in what is a game), and in its function as an object that creates meaning in the contexts in which specific users use it. (Against Procedurality, 2011, para. 22)

This essay will first properly define Procedural Rhetoric and how it is related to Proceduralism in order to bring a groundwork understanding to what it is the Sicart is criticising. Sicart’s views will be laid out in a manner in which they will be taken apart, looked at and considered on whether these criticisms are actually valid complaints. First will be Sicart’s interpretation of procedural rhetoric and whether his criticism against his interpretation is valid to apply to what Bogost really meant. Sicart claims that procedural rhetoric ignores the player yet Bogost outlines a concept called procedural enthymeme which acknowledges the relationship between player and procedure. Sicart claims that Bogost focuses too much on the formal characteristics of the game, and not enough on other other important components such as aesthetics, narrative, and so on. Sicart’s interpretation of procedural rhetoric against his own idea of abusive game design which when looked into are pretty much the same thing and how Sicart believes that procedurality leads to the embedding of agendas and views into the games which are then forced onto the unsuspecting players.

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Wide Asleep – Research Essay

So this is a research essay for a game-for-change game, I had to design during my Game Design Course. I decided upon a sleeping app that added gamelike elements to promote better sleeping habits and alert users of potential health risks associated with poor sleep. This was done with a good friend who designed all the images. I don’t know if I still have all the files but it looked really good in my opinion.

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Formal Properties of a Video Game – Silent Hill 2

One of the first essays I had to do for my Game Design course. I think I got a fairly good mark with decent comments. I’m pretty sure one of the criticisms for this was that it read more like a review at the beginning rather than an exploration of the game’s mechanics. Anyways enjoy 🙂

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Wow. Where to begin with my group game. The group fell to pieces, well. One person did. They ended up doing barely any work for the 12 weeks we had to work on the game. Most of their work I had to do and I wasn’t even meant to be designing shit.

I found it super stressful and I just had no time to even think about writing updates.  But looking on the bright side we got in a mostly finished game. It still had some bugs and needed a fair bit of fine tuning but considering how much fucking around there was where nobody knew what was going on, I’m pretty proud of what we accomplished. Plus I don’t ever have to work with them again.

This is going to be a long post so…
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There’s also more than just the art direction. I feel that the players don’t have a clear goal. Why do they want to keep building into the sky? Why do they want to work together with other players? I just don’t think playtesting will help. What we need is a design document but we currently don’t have that at the moment. What we have is a lot of questions and mixed thoughts but nothing concrete. We need direction. We need to know what we’re working towards, not just a date. I seriously doubt we’ll get anywhere unless this is fixed soon.

Playtesting should happen when we have our gameplay done and level done. Then we can make modifications to it. Sigh…

I need to work on adding numbers to the blocks so when they’re spawned they have a particular material attached according to what number they’re assigned. It kind of doesn’t help that the textures are all jpegs. JPEGs are awful. They really are. You lose so much quality with them its not funny.

Just bluh….

I’ve completely lost motivation for my group project… I don’t know if it’s because I’m really tired or I feel that the game wouldn’t be fun or that I just don’t like the art direction. I mean I’ve put a fair bit of thought into the game today. We for some reason decided that the overall aesthetic is Vincent van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ and I don’t really understand why. It’s really restrictive. When you use something as a base especially a painting, you take on whatever the meaning of that painting is or what the artist intended to convey. So I looked up the painting to see if maybe it has some kind of context to the piece and I found:

“During Van Gogh’s younger years (1876-1880) he wanted to dedicate his life to evangelization of those in poverty. Many believe that this religious endeavor may be reflected in the eleven stars of the painting. In Genesis 37:9 the following statement is made:

“And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.”

“ -http://www.vangoghgallery.com/painting/starry-night.html

Now apparently the theme of our game is the destruction of society. I should probably write what the game is.

The World We Make is a first person multiplayer game where the players are working together to get as high in the sky as possible before the blocks that they’re standing on dissolve into nothing. The players use blocks to create pathways to spawners in order to generate more blocks in order to progress higher.

I just don’t think the aesthetics and meaning of the art that we’re basing our art design on match with our overall theme of the gameplay.

I just think we need to broaden the art design. I think we need to choose an art movement rather than a particular artist or artwork. But that’s just my opinion. I’m just doing the scripting so I guess what I say doesn’t matter much. It’s really up to the designers…

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I’m so terrible with typography XD But this here is what my game currently looks like and that’s the title for it. It has background sound now. I’m going to be working on the title and end screens tomorrow. Then I’ll work out bugs and put all my work together for the pdf I have to submit with this.