Common Knowledge 17 (2):283-291 (2011)

This article continues from where the author's 2008 book The Meaning of Video Games concluded and concerns what he learned from playing the simulation game Spore by Sims-creator Will Wright, especially the extent to which a social-network model had become during the development process the infrastructural backbone of the game. Spore's approach to the problem of building an asynchronous content-creation and content-sharing system aligned the video game with the most important trends in text-based digital humanities scholarship today. Thus this article compares video games and digital texts, not in terms of their supposedly shared narrative content (not in terms of their content at all) but, rather, formally—in terms of how they model complex systems, how both video games and digital-text environments work by creating networked environments for the production, reproduction, transmission, and reception (indeed for the continual reediting) of their respective content-objects. Both texts and video games are systems, with their own special affordances and constraints, that provide both “spores” and “spurs,” seeds and provocations, prompts for new performances of meaning
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1215/0961754X-1187977
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
25 ( #455,828 of 2,507,393 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,983 of 2,507,393 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes