Spaces of Allegory. Non-Euclidean Spatiality as a Ludo-Poetic Device

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Studies of digital game spaces have established a solid understanding of the general dissimilarity of game spaces and space in reality, discussing e.g. the particular cardinalities of motion and agency, the significance of projection methods, and the possibility of movement among non-linear paths. This paper applies these theories to a particular phenomenon, the manipulation and defamiliarization of spaces, which has become a rather widespread feature of digital games in recent years. Drawing on post-phenomenology and developmental psychology, the paper argues that games with non-Euclidean spatiality challenge real-life epistemologies of space that are acquired early in life. The paper demonstrates the creative use of this form of defamiliarization in two examples, Superliminal and The Witness, which turn it into allegories of dreams, agency, and authorship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DiGRA 2020 : Play Everywhere
Number of pages16
PublisherDigital Games Research Association (DiGRA)
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • digital game spaces
  • non-Euclidean spatiality
  • defamiliarization
  • post-phenomenology
  • epistemology of space


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