A look at diegetic and nondiegetic from the context of the terms introduction:
Diegetic Space- “Total world of narrative action… includ[ing] both onscreen and offscreen elements.”
Nondiegetic Space– “External to the world of narrative action.” A display panel or Pause button are examples.
Galloway’s emphasizes that the nondiegetic space becomes part of the narrative structure of the video game as a medium. He is not saying the nondiegetic becomes the diegetic. He simply means the non-narrative structure has enough character to become a staple of video gaming in general. This unique focus helps to separate video games from the active audience theory used by other media forms.
This otherwise paradoxical association of nondiegetic as contributing to narrative establishes a precedent for inverse relationships between different facets of gaming. In this example, he has enabled game play to contain a concept that would be contradictory in a particular game. The stratification and elasticity of terms in different contexts establish a procedural mirror of the medium as valuable as the applied language. Galloway’s adopted vocabulary becomes his own grammar of action. Below, diegetic and nondiegetic are portrayed in a way that assumes their existences are innate to gaming. While Galloway is open about this in other spaces, its worth keeping in mind the synthetic origins of this language.
“In some instances it will be difficult to demarcate the difference between diegetic and nondiegetic acts in a video game, for the process of good game community is to fuse these acts together as seamlessly as possible.”