The write-up for the last Keywords session on “CLOSE/DISTANT” is now up via the CGP website:
by Theresa Horstman and Edmond Chang
Thanks to those who joined us for our most recent Gaming Keywords session, CLOSE/DISTANT on April 4, 2013. The games and readings represented multiple interpretations of our fifth keyword for this year, and as usual, the conversation ran the gamut: reading, playing, research methods, intimacy and space.
Close playing is to video games what can be interpreted as the equivalent of close reading in literature. As one of the readings defined, “Close playing, like close reading, requires careful and critical attention to how the game is played (or not played), to what kind of game it is, to what the game looks like or sounds like, to what the game world is like, to what choices are offered (or not offered) to the player, to what the goals of the game are, to how the game interacts with and addresses the player, to how the game fits into the real world, and so on. Close playing is about revealing and analyzing what Galloway calls the diegetic and nondiegetic spaces and features of the game.” Close playing is about developing critical ways of reading, playing, seeing, and experiencing a game that ironically is about a kind of critical distance from the “flow” of play.