Camera-based World View

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A graphical representation of the game world in which the world, the entities within it and their spatial relationships are depicted visually. We are adopting a camera metaphor to describe such views partly due to its utility in describing the views used in games that have a three dimensional view. Another factor in our decision is that two dimensional visual representations of a game world can be considered a camera view as well, simply one that is restricted to moving in two dimensions. Rather than panning or circling around to follow action like in Super Mario 64 (Miyamoto, 1996), it trucks left or right, up or down, such as in Super Mario Bros. (Miyamoto, 1985) or Double Dragon (Technos Japan, 1988).

The visual style of the view is irrelevant to camera based views as were speaking of them. That is, whether a game uses cel shading techniques to give the world a two dimensional look, whether its a photorealistic 3D representation, vector graphics or ascii art has no bearing on whether a game qualifies as having a camera based world view. All of the views listed above are visual representations of the world, they simply adopt different styles of creating that visual representation.

See also Cardinality of Presentation, Cardinality of Gameplay

Strong example The view in Super Mario Brothers [Miyamoto, 1985] consistently displays Mario or Luigi in the game world, following the character's progress across the game world. As the player moves Mario or Luigi to the right, the game's two dimensional camera moves right to provide a view of Mario/Luigi and nearby terrain and enemies.

Weak example Nethack [NetHack DevTeam, 1992] uses ASCII art to depict the game map. While this visual representation is text based, it is a visual representation rather than descriptive prose.

Counter example Zork [Blank and Lebling, 1982] and other Interactive Fictions (such as Planetfall [Meretzky, 1983]) describe the game world to the player in prose. Some of the more exotic IFs use alliteration, rhyming, metaphor, poetic language or wordplay (such as Ad Verbum [Montfort, 2000] or For a change [Schmidt, 1999]) to describe the game world and the ways the player can interact with it.




Blank, M. and Lebling, D. (1982). Zork. Infocom, apple ii edition.

Meretzky, S. (1983). Planetfall. Infocom, pc booter edition.

Miyamoto, S. (1985). Super Mario Bros. Nintendo, Nintendo entertainment system edition.

Miyamoto, S. (1996). Super Mario 64. Nintendo, Nintendo 64 edition.

Montfort, N. (2000). Ad Verbum.

NetHack DevTeam, developer (1992). NetHack.

Schmidt, D. (1999). For a Change.

Technos Japan, developer (1988). Double Dragon. Tradewest, Nintendo entertainment system edition.