'You were all the world like a beach to me' the use of second person address to create multiple worlds in literary video games: 'Dear Esther', a case study

Journal article


Colthup, H. 2018. 'You were all the world like a beach to me' the use of second person address to create multiple worlds in literary video games: 'Dear Esther', a case study. International Journal of Transmedia Literacy. 4. https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2018-005-colt
AuthorsColthup, H.
Abstract

This paper focuses on the problematic overlapping uses of 'you' within the video game Dear Esther (The Chinese Room, 2012) and how this gives rise to an uneasy and personalised experience rather than a fixed canonical reading. Dear Esther is a Walking Simulator and this type of video game is concerned with telling a story and not the conventional binary win or lose outcome of many other video games. The simple game mechanics reliant upon the player moving around a simulated space in order to learn the story means that a literary analysis is better suited to understanding the transmedia story worlds. Literary fiction uses multiple varieties of second person address to create story worlds, Walking Simulators encourage players to actively identify themselves not with but as the main story protagonist, and the use of second person address largely drives this identification.

KeywordsDear Esther (game); video games; storyworld; gameworld; second person address
Year2018
JournalInternational Journal of Transmedia Literacy
Journal citation4
PublisherLED Online
ISSN2465-2261
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2018-005-colt
Related URLhttp://www.ledonline.it/index.php/transmedialiteracy
Publication dates
Print01 Dec 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Mar 2018
Accepted12 Dec 2017
Accepted author manuscript
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/889w7/-you-were-all-the-world-like-a-beach-to-me-the-use-of-second-person-address-to-create-multiple-worlds-in-literary-video-games-dear-esther-a-case-study

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