Braid: Short Response Paper

Due Date
4/11: Paper Due

After reading excerpts of Persuasive Games, you should be able to analyze the procedural arguments made by videogames. We'll put those skills to the test by conducting a rhetorical analysis of Braid that focuses on how its procedures make arguments.

We'll be asking this: How do the 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, your task is to examine the procedures of the game and to explain how those procedures mount arguments.

Specifically, you'll look at one gameplay world. Each gameplay world has a title, and that title is presented on a black screen as you enter the world. For instance, the first gameplay world is called "Three Easy Pieces." Your job is to identify and explain the procedural argument being made in that gameplay world and then to link that argument to the story expressed in the "Clouds" portion of the game. Your paper should make it clear which gameplay world and which "Clouds" section you're discussing (each "Clouds" section has a title as well, such as "Time and Forgiveness).

The question you'll address in your brief response paper is: How does the procedural rhetoric of the gameplay world you've chosen relate to the story being told in the "Clouds"? The story portion of Braid expresses ideas with words, and the game portion expresses ideas with procedures. Your job is to link these two types of expression together, explaining how they intersect.

Papers should be no longer than 500 words (roughly: Times New Roman, 12 point font, two double-spaced pages) and should be uploaded to Dropbox prior to our class meeting on 3/28.

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

  • Is your paper formatted correctly (double-spaced, observes the word limit, name in upper-left-hand corner)?
  • Does your paper make it clear which gameplay world and which "Clouds" section you're referencing?
  • Does your paper identify and explain how your chosen gameplay world uses procedures to mount arguments?
  • Does your paper link the procedural argument of the gameplay world you've chosen with the "Clouds" story?
  • Is your paper written effectively and coherently with very few grammatical errors?
  • Was the paper turned in on time? (Reminder: We do not accept late work.)

Scholarly Lite is a free theme, contributed to the Drupal Community by More than Themes.