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Games compared to Films

Alexnder R. Galloway uses comparisons between film and gaming to bring up points for his breakdown of a video game world. In the first chapter he describes the use of the diegetic and non-diegetic aspects of a game to separate how we see a game. These different acts are described for specific games. “The heads-up display (HUD) in Deus Ex is non-diegetic, while the various rooms and environments in the game are diegetic”. (Galloway, 8) To relate that to a game that I might know is more of a difficult challenge. I think that with his meaning; in the game Guitar Hero the start and pause actions are considered to be non-diegetic while playing the correct notes on the guitar would be a diegetic act. This is a concept that he says is present in film and is where he draws his theory. He refers to many specific movies such as Hitchcock’s Rear Window in the second chapter when talking about point of view (POV) camera perspectives compared to subjective camera perspectives. A first person subjective view is one that shows exactly what a person would see if the camera were the persons head. The POV first person perspective is a more generalized view of the surroundings the person is looking at. The thing that I like about his analysis throughout the book is his correlation of one medium to another. Movies are very similar to gaming in how they are created, viewed, and manipulated. His book takes many avenues to show how these worlds are intermingled.



2 thoughts on “Games compared to Films

  1. I also liked Galloway’s comparisons between media types similarly to the way Bogost compared the production of modern gaming environments to that of modern movies. I think the easiest way to determine diegetic and nondiegetic are to think of the game as a story and determine if you are part of this story what information you would have and what information would you not have. Think of Tony Hawk Pro Skater games, you would be the skater moving around in this virtual world (diegetic) but every time you performed a trick a score pops into the air (nondiegetic). As a skater your tricks would be performed and that would be that unless there were judges then the score would have to be seen by turning to the judge’s booth (diegetic). This also goes into player immersion as well where some players feel the nondiegetic objects detract from the game and ruin the flow where other see the necessity for it and feel it adds to the experience by allowing direct feedback of a players achievements immersing the player more.

    Posted by diomazurek | June 18, 2013, 9:53 am
  2. You present good examples diegetic and nondiegetic. I understood the difference as diegetic being free will movements like exploring a map within the game whereas nondiegetic are objectives of the game, where if you completed the action correctly or incorrectly something about your character changes. It can vary from abilities to items you may be carrying. I would also consider missions and objectives in this category as well.

    Posted by nrfico | June 26, 2013, 7:49 pm

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