thinking about formalism (in the literary sense but also in videogame studies) and really annoyed by how games formalism has been eaten by critics who want to use it to define what a game is. like the question of "what's a game?" holds all the baggage of who has been allowed to make games and what games "should" be about
feels the same as people who dismiss the humanities for being "squishy" or "not rigorous" just bc it's not formal in a way they recognize
i really like formalism! i like the new critics approach of taking a work out of its context and focusing on what a text is *actually* saying! in games formalism i *like* having a vocabulary to think about mechanics and its relationship with player experience
and like, formalism isn't the only valid way to approach something and it's annoying to suggest that it's the end-all be-all of games studies. this is old games discourse but yeah
oh i'm also thinking about noah wardrip-fruin's work on operational logics and how being like: no hypertext games _are_ formal, look at the linking/control/selection/resource/entity-state? logics at play in these games is super cool actually, since it pushes back against people who say that hypertext doesn't have "mechanics" or isn't formal enough
i just think OLs are neat
and that formalism similarly has been weaponized against or rejected by confessional/personal poetry, often written by women/women of color. been thinking abt this a lot since i'm in a poetry class that's thinking about formalism and materialism and then also doing a research project thinking about the humanities/stem divide
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