Presentation on theme: "Semiotics and Systems Dr. Héctor Muñoz-Avila Assigned readings: Chapters 4 & 5 (Rules of Play Book)"— Presentation transcript:
Semiotics and Systems Dr. Héctor Muñoz-Avila Assigned readings: Chapters 4 & 5 (Rules of Play Book)
Semiotics (not “symbology”) The study of how meanings are made Created by a linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (early 1900s) Example: symbols in rock-paper-scissors Another examples: classes in a game (mage, warrior) –What does a “mage” represents? And a warrior? Four semiotic concepts: –Sign represents something other than itself –Signs are interpreted –Meaning results when a sign is interpreted –Context shapes interpretation
Sign represents something other than itself What is the meaning of “O” in Tic-Tac-Toe? Another Example: “!” Games use signs to denote actions and outcome (falling king in chess, this one)one Chains of signifiers: sequences of signs Examples? Words (sequences of characters)
Signs are interpreted Signs are assigned meaning because of surrounding context not because of the signs themselves Players are active interpreters of signs in games Example:Example
Meaning results when a sign is interpreted A sign stands for something to somebody in some aspect or capacity Other example: the role of a warrior or a mage in an MMO game –And perceived meaning is controversial (designer versus some players) Paladins in WOW: clerics or holy warriors?Paladins
Context shape interpretation Designer creates a context for the participant from which meaning emerges Classical example: word in a phrase Structure: set of regulations or guidelines that prescribe how signs are interpreted (example)example
Side Track: Lore: Designing Context Pay for a License or Not Use popular lore Licensing popular lore Create own lore Advantages/disadvantages of picking one over the other one?
Systems: Various Definitions A group of interrelated elements forming a complex whole (biological systems) A functionally related group of elements or components (computer) An organized set of ideas or principles (government) Commonality of these definitions: Parts Whole Is a game a system?
Elements of a System Parts affect one another within an environment –Forming a pattern that is different from its parts Four parts of a system –Objects –Attributes (properties) –Internal relationships –Environment 3 dimensions Formal system Experiential system Cultural system
Elements of a System Example: Chess Formal system Experiential system Cultural system Objects Attributes (properties) Internal relationships Environment Another example: Space Invaders! (culture)Space Invadersculture Other examples (Game Culture)? Pieces, board Rules: moving pieces, win, draw, capture Actual positions: defend, threat Actual game play The players Pieces player controls Strategic interactionStrategic interaction, psychological Context of play: I am smarter than u! The game as a whole Simulated warfare Pawn vs king Queen vs king Big Blue, Larry King, Gary Kasparov
Framing Systems Hierarchical and interrelated dimensions –Formal rules are embedded in a system of play –System of play is embedded in the culture Example 1: Videogames in Germany Example 2: –GTA controversy:GTA culture or stereotype? Fiction or reality? Influence behavior? So designing a game is more than just defining rules because these rules are experienced with in a cultural context
Open and Close Systems Closed system: no interchange with the environment –Chess as a formal system Open system: affects and is affected by environment –Chess as a cultural system The experiential system is both open and closed
Administrative Design Analysis: groups games