Analysis: The Only Way to Win - How Games Change The Rules

In this analysis piece, interactive fiction author Emily Short examines the rhetorical power of games and looks as the ways in which a game's narrative can sometimes run contrary to its rules to make a particular point.

ES: My first encounter with the rhetorical power of games came in the early 90s. We had a copy of Avalon Hill's New World, one of those massive games where it takes hours to learn the rules and punch out the cardboard pieces, and hours more to finish a single playthrough. My family played it exactly once.

The idea is that each player represents a European power exploring the new world. Your goal is to send home resources; you want to exert some power over regions of the New World so that you can continue to send them.

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