In Alexander Galloway’s article “Gamic Action, Four Moments,” he describes the types of actions that take place in a game. He starts by explaining that video games are actions, just as photos are images and film is moving images. He also notes that there is the action of the player, like finding a special power up, and the action of the machine, when the power up actually works to boost the characters abilities. He describes two terms diegetic and nondiegetic: diegetic deals with the game’s totally world of the narrative story and nondiegetic elements are the ones that are still important to the narrative but are completely outside the narrative world. He explains these make up two perpendicular axes between the machine and operator, diegetic and nondiegetic, and that this diagram is the basis for the four moments of gamic action. Some of the pages in the article are cut after that, so I cannot tell what all four are. While reading this article, I could not help but think at some points, well duh. Everything that he is describes seems incredibly obvious. I am not sure what the point of the excerpt that we read is, but it seems like he is just trying to figure out some way to sort and categorize the way video games work. While this is admirable, I guess I did not know we were at the point of dissecting video games the way we do other mediums. When there is a new revelation to be found about the narrative, I really enjoy analyzing texts, but most of the time we seem to be analyzing for the sake of analyzing. It usually seems redundant and excessive. I am betting he ties all of these obvious points together in not-so-obvious points later in the article, but since it skips ahead I am not quite sure what to think as far as that I agree with him so far. Because video games are machines that require buttons to be pushed or commands to be given at all times, they are definitely interactive, or as Galloway puts it, they are an action-based medium. This is a bit confusing however when he likens it to photographs, because for the photograph to even exist, someone had to press the button telling the camera what to do. This article is a good example of a reading that needs a bit more direction before reading it. I think it would be more effective if we were looking for something or knew the point he was trying to make so we could identify how he supports it.


To be graded easy:



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