Published by Ian Bogost in , Unit Operations seeks to set out a critical theory which can be applied to any medium, whether it be literature, poetry, cinema or. Bogost explains that computational systems “rely on unit operations as their tag-ian-haydn-smith tag-university-of-texas-press tag-review tag-pmpick. Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital. Age, pp. 19– London: Arnold. Ian Bogost, Unit Operations: An Approach to. Videogame Criticism. Cambridge.

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He ends by bringing in Badiou’s concept of a ” thinking ,” the unity of theory and practice.

Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism by Ian Bogost

He seems to be against the strict division of disciplines that divide universities today, and instead advocates for an interdisciplinary approach to learning in general, but especially between the humanities and technology. Lists with This Book. This approach is especially useful for the comparative analysis of digital and nondigital artifacts and allows scholars from other fields who are interested in studying videogames to avoid the esoteric isolation of “game studies.

We define a game by what the software allows us to do in it. Losses, Journeys, and Ascensions: In contrast to that is Johan Huizinga’s notion of play, a concept that Bogost said is expected of games as a whole in the industry.

Probably a poor pick for my first Bogost book. Mar 29, Robert Cooksey rated it it was amazing. The structuralism of Levi-Strauss examined myths at a structural level, grouping them through their units of meaning, rather than their contingent content. Operatjons we watch movies or television, read book and listen to radio we are not somehow disconnected from the world and vaulted into a virtual reality beyond out own, one which is less valuable serious and meaningful than the everyday world of our concern.

It is the job operagions the critical opertions to examine how these unit operations work with each text, whether computer game or literary classic.

It discusses games as systems comprised of individual units, such as the game engine and the various coded objects and properties therein, and as units within larger systems of genre, narrative, and network representation. This leads Bogost to assert that, though unit operations can be applied to any medium, videogames “rely on unit operations as their primary mode of representation, and thus unit operations have a special role in how works like videogames function” Bogost first uses the work of philosophers to ground and explain his choice: Here he also introduces the work of Alain Badiouwhose ontological ideas such as the count-as-one or the situation will inform the rest of the work.

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Marcia had developed a set of guidelines for playing the game, including this one: It is a common, and generally correct, opinion that video games deserve better criticism than they get; I wonder, though, if they yet deserve criticism quite this good. The book is divided into four parts of three chapters each. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. This is distinct from film or books, which divide themselves by the story. Moreover, unlt approach can be applied beyond videogames: First, unit operations are biased in differing degrees; September 12th has olerations clearer bias than Sim City or Star Wars Galaxies might, but bias exists in each work.

Overview of ‘Unit Operations’ by Ian Bogost (part 1) | Avoiding/the\Void

You are commenting using your Twitter account. In this process, the unit operations of a simulation embody themselves in a player’s understanding. Bogost asserts that each medium can be read as a “configurative system, an arrangement of discrete, interlocking units of expressive meaning” Bogost ix.

In its disciplinary breadth and clarity of presentation it resembles the excellent Understanding Computers and Cognition: Katie Chico rated it liked it Feb 26, Number two is the big one here. The third section examines games as simulationplay, and art, and includes discussions of games’ social power and bias.

Bogost draws on object technology and complex adaptive systems theory for his method of unit analysis, underscoring the configurative aspects of a wide variety of human processes. I insist on this broader understanding of unit operations to allow its logic to resonate across expressive forms, from literature to film to software to video games.


Unit Operations: An Approach to Video Game Criticism

Return to Book Page. This book is good and important. In literary theorypoststructuralist theory is based on units, and it breaks down the systematic structuralism. Rather than specializing or undermining in one area, he opens up credible and well thought analyses in the areas of movies, literature and gaming that cuts across each other to reveal the unit operations that sustain them as meaningful worldly mediums nuit engagement.

Genres structure a creative approach to narrative; they describe a kind of story…game engines differ from genres in that they abstract such material [guns, poerations, etc. It opens up video game criticism beyond the inane arguments of ludic versus narrative, of configurative versus interpretive.

This sense of meaning must stay with the player outside of the game in order to be significant and obviously do so, as reactions to games like September 12th are meant to expand into the “real world”. The 20 Best Folk Albums of To get to this stage, however, Bogost takes us through a mini history of the systems bias in literary theory, computation and media analysis, but one that is challenge by his ontology which is is influenced by Spinoza, Badiou, Deleuze and Harman.

Aug 29, Joe Nelis rated it it was amazing. Unjt of literature, economies and anatomies are all system assemblages of units, but are not held rigidly in place by a deterministic totalizing structure.

Bogost draws on object technology and complex adaptive systems theory for his method of unit analysis, underscoring the configurative aspects of a wide variety of human processes.

The idea of a character meeting a “figure that fascinates,” only to watch them walk away, is played out in all four of the texts and portrays a certain element of meaning to the viewer in each.