Short Response Paper on Limbo

Due Date: 4/15

In our readings and discussions, we have addressed how games use rules and procedures to make meaning. We'll put those ideas to the test by conducting a close analysis of Limbo that focuses on how its procedures make make meaning and how it might be redesigned as a persuasive game, a game that uses processes rhetorically.

We have been asking these questions in class: How do a game's mechanics make arguments? What are those arguments? What is the significance of those arguments, and how are the connected to the game's story? Remember that procedural rhetoric is different from verbal rhetoric, visual rhetoric, or textual rhetoric. The images and text of the game do in fact make arguments, but that is not what we're focused on here. Instead, we are examining the procedures of the game and explaining how those procedures mount arguments.

Our task in this paper is to transform Limbo into what Bogost calls a "persuasive game." While Limbo does in fact use procedures as an expressive medium, it does not necessarily use those procedures to persuade. How could we redesign Limbo in order to transform it into persuasive game? This is the question you'll take up in this short paper. You will propose a redesign of the game and then explain how your redesign would make Limbo a persuasive game. Your proposed redesign should focus on how the game uses procedural expression. You can address visuals or sound as well (that is, you could redesign these components of the game), but you must also address the game's procedures. How would your new version of Limbo use computational procedures to make an argument? What would that argument be?

Papers should be no longer than 1000 words (roughly: Times New Roman, 12 point font, three double-spaced pages) and should be uploaded to Dropbox prior to our class meeting on 4/15.

When providing feedback, we will be looking for the following:

  • Does your redesign make Limbo into a persuasive game?
  • Does your paper explain your proposed redesign in detail?
  • Does your paper explain and describe the procedural argument that your redesigned game would make?
  • Does your paper focus on how the procedures of your redesigned game would be used to persuade?
  • Is your paper written effectively and coherently with very few grammatical errors?
  • Is your paper formatted correctly (double-spaced, observes the word limit, name in upper-left-hand corner)?
  • Was the paper turned in on time? (Reminder: We do not accept late work.)

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