What happens when our universe and the digital ones we find in games begin to overlap? Inspired by Steven Conway's excellent piece about re-examining "the fourth wall" in the context of video games, we take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of playing a self-aware game. Much is discussed: we navigate the labyrinth that is the Metal Gear universe, explore the hidden meaning of Tingle, and dredge the depths of Rapture in search of answers. Help us break the fourth wall of our site by jumping in with your thoughts in the comments!
Some discussion starters:
- What games successfully play with the idea of the fourth wall? Do they employ subtle "winks" or explicit self awareness?
- Are games that "extend the magic circle" to encompass the player the ideal way to play? How does the rise of motion control effect this?
- How does the role of authorship impact the idea of the fourth wall? Is it necessary for a designer to extend the magic circle, or is it up to players to dictate their level of involvement in the game's fiction?
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- Run time: 35 min 47 sec
- "A Circular Wall? Reformulating the Fourth Wall for Video Games," by Steven Conway, via Gamasutra
- Music provided by Brad Sucks