Old Media Envy

Much of the writing in the ludologist tradition is unduly polemical: they are so busy trying to pull game designers out of their “cinema envy” or define a field where no hypertext theorist dare to venture that they are prematurely dismissing the use value of narrative for understanding their desired object of study.

– Henry Jenkins, “Game Design as Narrative Architecture.

But if these designers have “cinema envy” (and trust me, there are so many who don’t), then I think the designers and academics who praise Emergence above all else actually have a severe case of Tabletop/LARP envy. Or maybe even envy of those kids who, free of the constraints of adult behaviour and sports with rules, construct and morph their own experience for a variety of purposes. And I just don’t understand why that’s any better or more legitimate than envying the other screen arts.

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