IF and Indie Aesthetics in Games

I am also not claiming that IF should self-evidently be assimilated under the umbrella of “games,” but instead is being cruelly excluded. There is plenty of ambivalence about whether or not IF belongs in games on all sides, both from within the IF community and from without. As “fiction” that is experience by playing a “game file,” IF has ridden the “ludology v. narratology” line for decades. But still, IF might count as an indie game culture. It might. You could take that point of view on a vibrant and productive community of interactive artists toiling in relative obscurity. Or not. —Jeremy DouglassIF and Indie Aesthetics in Games (WRT: Writer Response Theory)

While I see many flaws with the strategy of applying too much narrative/textual critical terminology to the study of computer games, just as there are problems with similarly applying the taxonomies of cinematography, I’m glad to find the occasional recognition that IF is a particular subgenre of games that invites (even requires) a narratological/textual approach.

Part of me flinches every time I hear the term “videogame.” It seems so unnecessarily exclusionary.

If it’s a videogame, then it’s almost always to some degree an audiogame, isn’t it? And a coordinationgame, and a spacial-perceptiongame, and a socialgame, and at least to some degree a kinetic-tactilegame, too.