Types and Bytes. Ludic Seriality and Digital Typography: A Summary

In the Journal for Computer Game Culture, Lisa Gotto writes about how ludic seriality offers a way to discuss the conditions and abilities of digital typography. She discusses this in her article titled Types and Bytes. Ludic Seriality and Digital Typography. Using the game Type Rider as an example, she reveals the relationship between text and icons in the game. Gotto (2014) explains how “ludic seriality provides us with the means to reflect on the conditions and capacities of digital typography.”

In the game Type Rider, the player travels through the history of writing. As you progress in the game different texts or fonts are introduced, such as cavemen paintings, hieroglyphics by the Egyptians, Chinese characters, and letters originating from Latin. She argues how these static symbols represent the advancement in the history of media. As the player progresses forward, they come to a portion of the game which focuses on cinematography. The text in this portion of the game become dynamic, now able to move around. This can be seen in rolling titles, credits, and animation of the lettering. These movable texts are created in order to imply a certain meaning.

In the second section of the game she discusses iconography elements in the game Type Rider. She uses the two dots, which are controlled by the player, as an example. What do they represent? She explains the possible interpretations of the dots. There are different possible representations of the dots such as a semicolon, a division sign, or a punctuation mark. The dots are an abstract symbol which allow for many interpretations depending on the players.

In the third section she focuses on the playability of the game Type Rider. There are different ways to play the game. One way is through the platform of a phone whereas another is through a PC. Playing on a phone requires a different method of manipulation by the player. They must move the phone around in order to balance the dots. Doing this is more imaginative, and the player may be reminded of the movement of a paintbrush. Playing on a PC is different. This is because the player must type on the keyboard in order to navigate. Gotto (2014) explains how “the keyboard’s logic is converted from that of a typewriter to that of a Type Rider.” Digital games such as Type Rider, demonstrate the flexibility and dynamic use of typography.

Games are a creative and interactive way of gaining a greater understanding of particular pieces in culture. They offer new methods of presenting knowledge and understanding of things throughout history. Digital games are effective modes of teaching what, and why, things are. The player gains an understanding of these things through the procedure of gameplay, which also means that each person’s interpretation and understanding may differ.

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