Panel 2C: Inferno in Videogames
Session 2 – July 1, 15:30 – 17:00
Visual Inheritances for a Liminal World in Limbo
The question of the meaning of the video game can only be theorised in relation to the concept of limit or death. Without necessarily returning to the Greimasian semiotic dimension of the natural world (Greimas & Fontanille, 1991: 89), it does seem sensible to think that the world of the narrative video game, as a readable world mediated by a certain (videoludic) language, is precisely susceptible of being thought of in terms of meaning.
Limbo is an absolutely relevant case in terms of the question of video game hermeneutics due to its liminal, clearly evanescent nature. The meaning of its virtual world is presented as refractory, slippery, barely accessible. It is a case that we could include within a group of games of weak meaning, insofar as its verdictive traces and its ontological functioning are deeply eroded or put in doubt by its own enunciation. What we are concerned with here is not so much what the game might mean —a question that is always useless to ask in virtual worlds of weak meaning— but rather, and again in the semiotic tradition, what processes of signification make it possible for the ludofictional world of Limbo to unfold and in which of them the very appearance of meaning is established. In this presentation, we will dwell especially on the intertexts and visual legacies that the video game incorporates and
remediates in its art design. We will trace the way in which the main character, the forest and the organic elements that act as enemies are visually constructed through references from painting, photography and film. This research is part of the project Narratological Design in
Video Games: A Proposal of Structures, Styles and Elements of Post-Classically Influenced Narrative Creation (DiNaVi) (Code 18I369.01/1) developed with Shaila García Catalán and Aarón Rodríguez Serrano
Marta Martín Núñez (València, 1983) is a professor and researcher at
Universitat Jaume I, where she has pursued an academic career dedicated to the analysis of contemporary audiovisual discourses in the context of post-classical narrative complexity and the digital environment. She has a multi-disciplinary background, which she has applied to the exploration of various objects of study, particularly related to new narratives, interactive narratives, and contemporary photographic discourses. She is a member of the the European initiative COST 18230 Interactive Narrative Design for Complexity
Representation and principal investigator of the R+D+i project Narratological Design in Video Games: A Proposal of Structures, Styles and Elements of Post-Classically Influenced Narrative Creation (DiNaVi) (Code 18I369.01/1), funded by Universitat Jaume I, through the UJI’s competitive call for research project proposals for the period 2019-2021.