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M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
F E L I X S C H R Ö T E R , U N I V E R ...
multimodality
linguistics
film studies
gamestudies
O’HALLORAN 2004
narratology
KRESS/VAN LEUWEN 2001
semiotics
PAGE 2010
B...
‣ address players through
multiple sensory channels,
‣ rely on players’ input through
different multimodal control
schemes...
– C H A R L E S F O R C E V I L L E ( 2 0 0 9 : 2 4 )
„[M]ultimodal metaphors are metaphors whose
target and source are ea...
C L A I M
Audiovisual metaphors are used in game character
design to integrate multi-sensory experiences with
higher cogni...
M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 

C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY
Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT)
• Human be...
M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 

C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY
• pictorial / visual metaphors (e.g. Kenned...
M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 

C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY
LIFE IS A JOURNEY
The Straight Story (USA 1...
– s e e K AT H R I N FA H L E N B R A C H ( 2 0 1 0 : 9 3 – 9 4 )
audiovisual metaphors = intentionally designed
symbolica...
M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 

C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY
ANGER IS LOSS OF BALANCE
Crank (USA 2006)
M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 

C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY
MADNESS IS LOSS OF BALANCE
Batman: Arkham A...
V I D E O G A M E S A N D M E TA P H O R S
• interface as metaphor for the game as an information
system (Järvinen 2007, S...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
Possible target domains: POWER, HEROISM,...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
• structural metaphor: source domain pro...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
PURPOSIVE ACTIVITY IS MOVING FORWARD TOW...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
POWER IS SELF-PROPELLED MOTION
InFamous ...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
• orientational metaphor: maps basic men...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
VIRTUE IS UP | CONTROL IS UP
InFamousBat...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
• ontological metaphor: gives (mostly ab...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
POWER IS A SUBSTANCE | HUMAN IS A CONTAI...
M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 

A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N
POWER IS A SUBSTANCE | HUMAN IS A CONTAI...
C O N C L U S I O N
Audiovisual metaphors are used in game character
design to integrate multi-sensory experiences with
hi...
T H A N K Y O U !
felixschroeter@uni-hamburg.de
@felixjs
www.felixschroeter.de
• Aarseth, Espen. 2001. “Allegories of
Space. The Question of Spatiality in
Computer Games.” In Cybertext Yearbook
2000, e...
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Multimodal Metaphors and Game Character Design

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“Multimodal Metaphors and Game Character Design”. Paper presented on January 29, 2015 at the Winter School “Mediality and Multimodality across Media”, University of Tübingen, January 28-30, 2015.

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Multimodal Metaphors and Game Character Design

  1. 1. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N F E L I X S C H R Ö T E R , U N I V E R S I T Y O F H A M B U R G MEDIALITY AND MULTIMODALITY ACROSS MEDIA WINTER SCHOOL AT THE GRADUATE ACADEMY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TUEBINGEN, GERMANY
 JANUARY 29, 2014 felixschroeter@uni-hamburg.de @felixjs www.felixschroeter.de
  2. 2. multimodality linguistics film studies gamestudies O’HALLORAN 2004 narratology KRESS/VAN LEUWEN 2001 semiotics PAGE 2010 BATEMAN/SCHMIDT 2010 DENA 2010
  3. 3. ‣ address players through multiple sensory channels, ‣ rely on players’ input through different multimodal control schemes (Oviatt 2002), ‣ combine ‘narrative’ and ‘game’ modes (Dena 2010). V I D E O G A M E S …
  4. 4. – C H A R L E S F O R C E V I L L E ( 2 0 0 9 : 2 4 ) „[M]ultimodal metaphors are metaphors whose target and source are each represented exclusively or predominantly in different modes.“
  5. 5. C L A I M Audiovisual metaphors are used in game character design to integrate multi-sensory experiences with higher cognitive meaning and ‘merge’ ludic and narrative dimensions of characters.
  6. 6. M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 
 C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) • Human beings make sense of (abstract) phenomena by understanding them metaphorically in terms of physical, concrete phenomena (Lakoff/Johnson 1980). • In conceptual metaphors (e.g. LIFE IS A JOURNEY) elements of a source domain (JOURNEY) are mapped onto elements of a target domain (LIFE).
  7. 7. M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 
 C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY • pictorial / visual metaphors (e.g. Kennedy 1982) • audiovisual metaphors (e.g. Forceville 2006, Fahlenbrach 2010) • multimodal metaphors (e.g. Forceville/Urios-Aparisi 2009)
  8. 8. M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 
 C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY LIFE IS A JOURNEY The Straight Story (USA 1999)
  9. 9. – s e e K AT H R I N FA H L E N B R A C H ( 2 0 1 0 : 9 3 – 9 4 ) audiovisual metaphors = intentionally designed symbolical forms that refer to conceptual metaphors in their specific use of pictures, sounds, and movement
  10. 10. M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 
 C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY ANGER IS LOSS OF BALANCE Crank (USA 2006)
  11. 11. M U LT I M O D A L I T Y A N D 
 C O N C E P T U A L M E TA P H O R T H E O RY MADNESS IS LOSS OF BALANCE Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady/Eidos Interactive 2009)
  12. 12. V I D E O G A M E S A N D M E TA P H O R S • interface as metaphor for the game as an information system (Järvinen 2007, Schrape 2012) • simulation as metaphor for real-world processes (Aarseth 2001, Juul 2005, or Bogost 2011) • conceptual metaphors in game rhetoric (Bogost 2005), aesthetics (Rusch 2009, Begy 2010), and story structure (Kromhout 2010, Kromhout/Forceville 2013)
  13. 13. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N Possible target domains: POWER, HEROISM, VIRTUE
  14. 14. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N • structural metaphor: source domain provides rich knowledge structure for the target concept (Kövecses 2010) ‣ LIFE IS A JOURNEY ‣ TIME IS MOTION
  15. 15. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N PURPOSIVE ACTIVITY IS MOVING FORWARD TOWARD A DESTINATION Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady/WB Interactive 2011)
  16. 16. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N POWER IS SELF-PROPELLED MOTION InFamous (Sucker Punch/Sony 2009)
  17. 17. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N • orientational metaphor: maps basic mental schemas of spatial orientation on (typically abstract) target concepts (Kövecses 2010) ‣ MORE IS UP | LESS IS DOWN ‣ VIRTUE IS UP | LACK OF VIRTUE IS DOWN ‣ CONTROL IS UP | LACK OF CONTROL IS DOWN
  18. 18. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N VIRTUE IS UP | CONTROL IS UP InFamousBatman: Arkham City
  19. 19. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N • ontological metaphor: gives (mostly abstract) target concepts a new ontological status as objects, substances, or containers (Kövecses 2010) • allows for further structuring through structural metaphors ‣ STATE AS CONTAINER („being in love“) ‣ ACTION AS OBJECT („giving someone a call“)
  20. 20. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N POWER IS A SUBSTANCE | HUMAN IS A CONTAINER InFamous
  21. 21. M U LT I M O D A L M E TA P H O R S 
 A N D G A M E C H A R A C T E R D E S I G N POWER IS A SUBSTANCE | HUMAN IS A CONTAINER The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda 2011)
  22. 22. C O N C L U S I O N Audiovisual metaphors are used in game character design to integrate multi-sensory experiences with higher cognitive meaning and ‘merge’ ludic and narrative dimensions of characters.
  23. 23. T H A N K Y O U ! felixschroeter@uni-hamburg.de @felixjs www.felixschroeter.de
  24. 24. • Aarseth, Espen. 2001. “Allegories of Space. The Question of Spatiality in Computer Games.” In Cybertext Yearbook 2000, edited by Markku Eskelinen and Raine Koskimaa, pp. 152–171. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä. • Bateman, John A., and Karl-Heinrich Schmidt. 2012. Multimodal Film Analysis. How Film Mean. New York/London: Routledge. • Begy, Jason. 2010. “Interpreting Abstract Games: The Metaphorical Potential of Formal Game Elements.“ MA thesis, Cambridge, MA: MIT. Accessed December 12, 2014. • Bogost, Ian. 2005. “Frame and Metaphor in Political Games.” In Proceedings of the DiGRA 2005 Conference. Vancouver: DiGRA. Accessed December 12, 2014. • Bogost, Ian. 2011. How to Do Things with Videogames. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. • Dena, Christy. 2010. “Beyond Multimedia, Narrative, and Game: The Contributions of Multimodality and Polymorphic Fictions.” In New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality, edited by Ruth Page, pp. 183–201. New York/London: Routledge. • Fahlenbrach, Kathrin. 2010. Audiovisuelle Metaphern. Zur Körper- und Affektästhetik in Film und Fernsehen. Marburg: Schüren. • Fahlenbrach, Kathrin. In prep. “Affective Spaces and Metaphors in Video Games.” In Games, Cognition, and Emotion. Essays in Cognitive Video Game Studies, edited by Bernard Perron and Felix Schröter. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. • Forceville, Charles. 2006. “The Source-Path- Goal Schema in the Autobiographical Journey Documentary: McElwee, Van der Keuken, Cole.” In New Review of Film and Television Studies 4: 241–261. • Forceville, Charles. 2009. “Non-Verbal and Multimodal Metaphor in a Cognitivist Framework: Agendas for Research.” In Multimodal Metaphor, edited by Charles Forceville and Eduardo Urios-Aparisi, pp. 19– 42. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter. • Forceville, Charles, and Eduardo Urios- Aparisi. 2009. “Introduction.” In Multimodal Metaphor, edited by Charles Forceville and Eduardo Urios-Aparisi, pp. 3–17. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter. • Järvinen, Aki. 2008. Games Without Frontiers. Theories and Methods for Game Studies and Design. PhD thesis, University of Tampere. • Juul, Jesper. 2005. Half-Real. Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. • Kennedy, John M. 1982. “Metaphor in Pictures”. In Perception 11: 589–605. • Kövecses, Zoltán. 2010. Metaphor. A Practical Introduction. Second Edition. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. • Kress, Gunter, and Theo van Leeuwen. 2001. Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. London: Arnold. • Kromhout, Roelf. 2010. Source-Path-Goal Structure in Multimodal and Interactive Videogames: Half-Life 2, Grim Fandango and Heavy Rain. MA thesis, University of Amsterdam. • Kromhout, Roelf, and Charles Forceville. 2013. “LIFE IS A JOURNEY. The Source-Path-Goal Schema in the Videogames Half- Life, Heavy Rain, and Grim Fandango.” Metaphor and the Social World 3(1): 100–116. • Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: Chicago University Press. • O’Halloran, Kay L. (ed.). 2004. Multimodal Discourse Analysis. Systemic-Functional Perspectives. London/New York: continuum. • Oviatt, Sharon. 2002. “Multimodal interfaces.” In The Human- Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications, edited by Julie A. Jacko and Andrew Sears, pp. 286– 304. Hilssdale, NJ: Erlbaum. • Page, Ruth (ed.). 2010. New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality. New York/London: Routledge. • Rusch, Doris. 2009. “Mechanisms of the Soul. Tackling the Human Condition in Videogames.” In Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice, and Theory. Proceedings of the DiGRA 2009 Conference. Brunel: DiGRA. • Schrape, Niklas. 2012. Die Rhetorik von Computerspielen. Wie politische Spiele überzeugen. Frankfurt/New York, NY: Campus Verlag.

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