The discussion of difficulty exists as a prominent topic within the realm of play. In terms of accessibility, the difficulty associated with any form of play becomes rather crucial. In video games, difficulty can both enhance the immersion and interactions between a player and the game; however, difficulty can also act as a barrier to entrance and "gatekeep" experiences from individuals with disabilities. Developers utilize difficulty as a tool to deliver different forms of narratives and rhetoric to their audience. The field of Ludic Rhetoric observes and studies how rhetoric can be implemented and facilitated within contexts of play and a case study of how developers utilize difficulty to communicate with audiences. Understanding the procedural rhetoric involved in fine-tuning difficulty illuminates the relationship between accessibility and authorial intent. Developers fine-tune difficulty through the curation of alternative mechanics, systems, and experiences. Each of these categories represents adjustable vectors game developers utilize to create accessible experiences. Learning how these vectors adjust difficulty can reveal how other forms of rhetoric can accommodate their respective rhetoric to account for audience, while also maintaining authorial intent.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Writing and Rhetoric
English; Rhetoric and Composition Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Benjelloun, Ismael, "An Investigation on the Procedural Rhetoric of Curated Difficulty" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1511.