You, a Very Meaningful Game
Lindsay Grace, Critical Gameplay / American University Game Lab
Like the other games in the Critical Gameplay collection, You critiques conventions in contemporary digital play. In this case it seeks to create tension between the historical tendency to make meaningful play games based on platform mechanics. The literal representation of meaning through words on the screen and an over the top player surrogate self are offered as lampoon for a fairly non-playful standard in game design. The more literal the interpretation of game elements, the less compelling the experience becomes.
As such, the game is organized around the notion of a game poem , where rhetorical device is a combined application of narratology and ludology . The play is limited by the constraints of the chosen representation (words on a page), while the story is limited by the one dimensional mechanics. The game is not designed as a serious experience, but instead as a critical design experience in meaning making in play.
Lindsay Grace is a professor, game designer and researcher. He directs the American University Game Lab and Studio in Washington, DC, USA. His game designs have received recognition from the Games for Change Festival, Meaningful Play Conference, ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community and others. He has published more than 25 papers, articles and book chapters on games in the last 5 years. His creative work has been selected for showcase in more than seven countries and 12 states. Lindsay’s career includes teaching 81 courses over 10 years and more than 30+ presentations in Asia, the Americas and Europe. In 2013 his game, Wait, was selected for the 10th Anniversary Games for Change Festival’s Hall of Fame, as one of the 5 best games for social impact in the last decade. He is the sole designer, developer, and artist behind Critical Gameplay, a 5 year rapid-game making practice designed to critique the way we play. Lindsay has served industry as an independent consultant, web designer, software developer, entrepreneur, business analyst and writer.
Acknowledgement: American University Game Lab