Gamification of Violence in Analog (Tabletop) Thematic Games: Splices, Wrinkles, and Translation Gaps


Modern tabletop (analog) games are riding a wave of popularity being a part of "resisting the digital” trend. First of all, imaginary worlds of media franchises become represented in tabletop games with their specific ways of creating interactive narrative and gaming algorithms. Secondly, tabletop games address complicated issues and concepts of today’s world. The authors aim to examine specific ways of representing violence in tabletop games, with plots already employed by pieces of different types of media. The authors believe that the hybrid nature of modern tabletop (analog) games involves a hybrid methodology, including phenomenology, hermeneutics, procedural rhetoric, the ideas of R.Kayua, M.Wolf, L.Manovich. The concept of violence is analyzed with reference to V. Podoroga, А. Usmanova, S. Zizek, V. Benjamin. The result of the study is a comprehensive description of the representation of violence in board-themed games. The authors argue that violence is represented in tabletop games at several levels and in different forms: narrative violence, visual violence, symbolic violence, etc. The study indirectly confirms the non-autonomy of the game process, the dependence of the game narrative on the experience of acquaintance with the "imaginary world.”

Keywords: media theory, game studiеs, boardgames, tabletop games, violence

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