Video-Fix: Videogames as ergodic literature

September 29, 2019 9:55 am

There are games and there are narrations. And then there is the whole range of possible combinations among them, like for instance the interactive narrations, where the reader is a character who can choose actions to influence the direction of the story. Nowadays there is almost no videogame without a story behind. The new astonishing possibilities of computer graphics have made possible to produce some titles, which are now considered real masterpieces of art and beauty.
The adjective ergodic (from the Greek words ergon, meaning “work”, and hodos, meaning “path”) introduces us to the concept, that a piece of literature must not be necessarily linked to textsm rendered through the specific medium called “book”, enjoyable exclusively in a passive way.
Within the literature sciences also videogames containing strong narrative connotations can be interpreted as ergodic literature, according to the main scholar of this newborn literary genre, Espen Aarseth:

“In ergodic literature, non-trivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text. If ergodic literature is to make sense as a concept, there must also be non-ergodic literature, where the effort to traverse the text is trivial, with no extra-noematic responsibilities placed on the reader except (for example) eye movement and the periodic or arbitrary turning of pages.”

References

Computerspiele als ergodische Literatur und Herausforderungen für den Deutschunterricht (SoSe 2014),  Ludwig Maximillian Universität München, [Accessed date: 16/09/2019]

Ergodic literature, Wikipedia, [Accessed date: 18/09/2019]

Digital evolution of literature, Youtube, [Accessed date: 16/09/2019]


Selected and introduced by Cosimo Palma

I studied philosophy, historical philosophy, philosophical history and history in the redundant Naples, computational linguistics and informatics in the city of Marx.
Language enthusiast and chess player in my free time, until the end of September I will spend my busy time in the Tower A of the European Parliament in Luxembourg, trying to do my best in the communication as well as in the operational department of the Terminology unit.

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