Beyond Procedurality: Situating The Witness in the Proceduralism Debate

Ryan Christopher Wright

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper posits a comparative analysis between two views of ludic meaning in game studies. The same two puzzles from Thekla, Inc.’s 2016 puzzle adventure game The Witness are interpreted first from a proceduralist perspective and then are reinterpreted from a play-centric perspective derived from a combination of practice theory and game scholar Miguel Sicart’s formulation of play. The purpose of this analysis is to demonstrate how a game otherwise well-suited to proceduralist readings might be more completely understood from such a play-centric perspective and presents this experimental method of analysis by example.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiGRA '19: Proceedings of the Digital Games Research Association Conference : Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix
Number of pages18
PublisherDigital Games Research Association (DiGRA)
Publication date9 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2019
Event2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix - Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 6 Aug 201910 Aug 2019


Conference2019 DiGRA International Conference
LocationRitsumeikan University
Internet address


  • game analysis
  • play-centrism
  • practice theory
  • procedural rhetoric
  • The Witness


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