Positioning in Personal Games: Perspectives of the Author-Player Persona in Memoir En Code: Reissue
Keywords:autobiographical games, player positioning, perspective, narrative agency
In creating autobiographical narratives through games, there exists a new theoretical problem in the game-player tension: how may a game creator relate their own story through a medium that relies primarily on another (the player) to execute? The blurring and shifting lines between the game creator and player resemble the same death knell Roland Barthes sounds for the literary Author in “La mort de l’auteur” (1967). This paper proposes a more nuanced theory for understanding the ‘player positioning’ of autobiographical games with a triangulated framework. The player position is a player/author persona collaboration that facilitates a shared presence in the game space through various ratios of three positions: the player as the protagonist, protagonist-proxy, and witness. Through a close reading of the autobiographical game Memoir En Code: Reissue by Alex Camilleri, the paper explores how the player may perceive the autobiographical game. Viewed through the protagonist, protagonist-proxy, and witness lens, the paper interrogates how the player position alters the nature of player-author identity within the game. It offers an approach for considering how the different perspectives of the author-player persona offer meaningful game(play), and argues for the shifting presentation of the author-player persona as an effective negotiation of a shared experience in the design of autobiographical games.
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