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Author Topic: The fourth wall does not exist  (Read 12796 times)
Michaël Samyn

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« on: May 19, 2013, 07:54:54 AM »

How can we seriously consider a fourth wall when we allow players to control things on stage?
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[Chris] Dale

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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 09:11:15 AM »

The fourth wall, in this case, isn't meant to represent a separation between the action and the player — it's meant to represent the belief the player has that they are controlling something real and meaningful. The fourth wall separates the game-game, the fictional game, the "diegetic" game, from "non-diegetic" things like saving, loading, adjusting the volume, &c. That's why most tutorials wouldn't be accused of 'breaking the fourth wall', but that bit in one of the MGS games where the bad guy threatens to have deleted some of your save games is.
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"Wonder had gone away, and he had forgotten that all life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other."
--H.P. Lovecraft

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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 10:31:53 AM »

Another note: even in film and theatre, a lot of our enjoyment comes from the observation of the bodies of the actors and their particular way of moving and talking, and not just from the fiction they are enacting. If we think of videogames as theatre performed by robots, we should consider it a major task to make the player empathise with and enjoy the robots-as-robots, and not merely the role they perform in the fiction.
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 10:39:00 AM »

In videogames, the fourth wall is behind the player, since the player is an actor.

Now, to be fair, we should let the other actors in on this too. Given their limited talents, this will certainly improve the quality of the play. And it will allow the player to treat them as equals.
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Mick P.

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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2015, 06:41:10 PM »

It isn't the same. The player isn't an actor, at best they are a lone on-the-spot improviser (when they are not the mark) but I think the power of the fourth wall lies in the spectator, however much of that role remains (I would say all of it if not more, because the player-as-puppet-master has a heightened sensitivity to it because they are always working through something that is its fraternal twin of some kind: namely the interface.)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 06:44:30 PM by Mick P. » Logged

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