Quick Notes from Miguel Sicart’s Presentation

My favorite talk of the conference had to be Miguel Sicart’s talk “Against Proceedurality” – I am posting my disjointed notes below, but what I liked the most about the talk was the idea that we need to look past the game structure and mechanics (rules, design, etc) and look towards the role of the player in the process of meaning making. While my work does not focus on ethics and meaning in gameplay per se, I believe that a large part of my argument about “hybrid identity” (existing neither within the player, nor the avatar [or player-character]) is about this very relationship between player and technology – concentrating not only on the game play elements and technology, but also on what the player brings to these in order to truly understand what hybrid identity is, when it occurs, and how it is constructed.


Notes: Against proceedurality.

Movie – play time .. About spaces and architecture.

Curve reasserts itself over the straight line – this makes me think about de certeau and paths versus sidewalks in the city – where people ‘really’ go as opposed to where they are told to go.

Discussion on ethical games, serious games…

The meaning of games resides in their rules – sicart says we need to move past this.

challenges bogost re: unit operations ..and challenges player-centric design (m. Flanagan, 2009)

Proceeduralism infers that all player experience is ultimately designed… Sicart is against this idea. Gives examples about meaning that exists outside of the rules… Therefore proving that we need to go against proceedurality…. Asking – where are the players – it is the players that make meaning ….

To think about proceedurality, creates instrumental play

Against instrumental play: thesis 1 play transitions between myth and reason
2. Play is the appropriation of a systms
3 play create meaning coupled with context

Meaningful failures (could use this idea in my game play analysis…)


3 thoughts on “Quick Notes from Miguel Sicart’s Presentation

  1. I also really liked this conference, even though initially it seemed to be a “false debate”. It never occured to me before that an analysis of the player experience could be made through game rules, at least if “rules” means the game as it is designed. But I heard it was a common way of understanding the concept of rules if we borrow it from the field of game design. If we understand rules as the principles constructed by the player which guide her “sidewalks” (i.e. the way the player conceives what she “has to do” in the game), I don’t think it goes against the player experience.

  2. I really like the juxtaposition you’ve suggested here between Sicart’s work and De Certeau. Makes me want to finally get past Sicart’s intro and finish it, then delve back into De Certeau. And I’m curious what the Latourian sense of action would bring to or against Sicart’s anti-procedurality?

  3. @Tam, for me, the de Certeau reference was merely a reformulation of his comment that “Curve reasserts itself over the straight line”

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