Are You Out of Your Mind? Focalization in Digital Games

Fraser Allison


This paper demonstrates how the concept of focalization, as defined by Gérard Genette (1980), can be used to analyze experiences of subjectivityin digital games. Strategies to create internal focalization are identifiedin games’ audiovisual presentation, provision and restriction of private knowledge, and ludic affordances. This provides a framework for games that seek to present diverse or distinctive perspectives, to allow players to access modes of thinking that accord with a mind other than their own. This framework can assist researchers, critics, and designers to identify ways in which digital games express elements of internal focalization that communicate the mental patterns of a perspective character.

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Published by the Digital Games Research Association.