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Hauntalogy, the Penumbra, and the Narratives of Play Experience

EasyChair Preprint no. 1260

7 pagesDate: July 3, 2019


This paper collects a series of heuristics in game level design to articulate the relationship between designed experience, perceived experience, and the mechanics of play. This work aims simply to frame core concepts as a guide for framing the relationship between designer/author and player/participant. It provides a philosophical lens for perceiving and designing the dynamic between created works and their perception by players. It does so by offering the concept of nested narratives - recursively experienced between the played narrative and the designed narrative. It is an adaptation of Derrida’s Hauntalogy, applied to the context of narratives in game design. Games are haunted by the ghosts of the author’s designed narrative, it’s manifestation in player’s actions, and the player’s self-authored explanation of their experience. This view can be used to design games and plays on the notion of games as penumbra-designs exist like ghosts in each new design.

Keyphrases: critical design, digital narrative, game design, Hauntology, level design, recursion

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Lindsay Grace},
  title = {Hauntalogy, the Penumbra, and the Narratives of Play Experience},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1260},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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