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Mellan digitala och fysiska världar: En utredning av immersionens och realismens retorik i kommersiella datorspel
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This master thesis examines commercial video games and their relation to the concept of immersion and realism. Games as a communicative medium is quite a new area of interest within rhetorical research in Sweden. Most of the research conducted has, however, been focused on gaming and formation on opinion – games that explicitly tries to persuade the player, unlike commercial games that focus on entertainment, that is. But that does not mean that commercial games cannot influence us. From time to time we can read about video games in the press and the discussions they generate. Most recently, China has banned the Swedish video game Battlefield 4 when Chinese government officials was claiming that the game portrays the Chinese military in an unfair manner. Thus we seem to ascribe meaning to the things that happen to us in the digital world, and that what happens in the digital world also has effects in the physical world, which the example clearly implies. With all the advanced gaming consoles today, I often find that game journalists and game developers in many contexts are talking about realism and immersion as two concepts that make up a good gaming experience. But what is realism and immersion: what does it mean and how do they relate to each other, and what kind of rhetorical impact do they really have on the player in the game?

Although there is more research about commercial games and rhetoric in an international context, there is no one to my knowledge that has been exploring the concept of immersion and realism in games in this way. In this essay I argue that it is crucial to understand immersion and realism in order to fully understand the video game medium and its persuasive aspects. By examining three popular games Battlefield 4, Grand theft auto V, and The last of us, and by applying the theories of Nelson Goodman and Kenneth Burke to my examination, my aim is to increase the understanding of the effect of realism and immersion in games.

I find that there are several ways that rhetoric can help us in understanding the two concepts. Both realism and immersion could be seen as something that enables the creation of identification within the realms of gaming. My suggestion is that we should understand realism as something that is enabled by the use of symbols and that it is enabled through the use of procedures in gaming. While my other suggestion is to perceive immersion as something that transfer the player from the couch and into the game world through argumentation and narrative. Both realism and immersion is something that make the player feel that he or she is one with the characters, the events and the story in the game.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 85 p.
Keyword [sv]
Datorspel, retorik, realism, immersion, processer, Nelson Goodman, Kenneth Burke
National Category
Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-24725OAI: diva2:750795
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2014-09-30 Created: 2014-09-30 Last updated: 2014-09-30Bibliographically approved

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Bruér, Axel
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