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Glossary of key terms (live post)


Philosophical approach to art concerned with value of works and how they're experienced.

Aesthetic cognitive = value of a work lies in its ability to help us understand, order and illuminate everyday experience.

Other approaches = value = enjoyment, pleasure, or emotional stimulation

How can a film be effective, affective or thoughtful

Inquiring into the nature of the cinematic experience

Anti-cinema (informal):

Any form of cinema that defies cinematic conventions (see: postmodernism)

Eg. Ozu, Ida.


Alternate reality games

Interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and employs transmedia storytelling

Has specific terminology - puppet master, the curtain, rabbit hole, tinag (this is not a game)

Real life as medium

Platformless narrative (not bound to a medium)

Collaborative storytelling

Cognitivism (Cognitive Film Theory):

Psychological processes involved in acquisition, organisation and use of knowledge

Viewers' response to film form devices though rational and conscious interpretation

Challenged uy non-cognitive responses to film as well as questions of aesthetics

Distanced from film analysis that aim to uncover underlying codes, meanings, deep structures, etc. - semiotics, structuralism, ideological criticism, and psychoanalytic film theory.


"A machine for the production of variety of expression" (Aarseth 1997, p. 3).

Focus on form, not content

"Cybertext is a perspective I use to describe and explore the communication strategies of dynamic texts" (Aarseth 1997, p. 5).

"The mechanical organization of the text by positing the intricacies of the medium as an integral part of the literary exhange" (Aarseth 1997, p. 1)


Based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.


Aarseth: cybertext

Requires nontrivial effort to navigate

not medium specific; concerned with mechanisms of form

Text-as-game (not text v game)

Film-as-game (film v game)

"Mechanical organisation of the text by positing the intricacies of the medium as an integral part of the literary exchange" (Aarseth 1997, p. 1)


Full motion video

Video game narration techniquew that rely on rec-recorded video to display action

Games that are primarily presented through FMVs referred to as full-motion video games or interactive films

Interactive film:

A video game or interactive media that has the characteristics of cinematic film

In video game industry, refers to a movie game

In film industry, refers to interactive cinema

Inclusive of FMVs, but mostly refers to choice-based narratives

Heavy rain - discourse around interactive film or video game? Does it matter?

Interactive video:

Digital video with clickable 'hotspots' which perform an action when touched

Might trigger info, jump to a new video, change the story line


A method of film criticism that moves away from the interpretive theory and towards a more empirical analysis of film, developed by David Bordwell.

Film narrative and stylistic form

Activity of the viewer in making sense of films

Meaning in any film emerges through a combination of devices (form, style, content)

Perception, emotion and cognition on viewers' part are central in the functioning of a films formal qualities.

Postmodernism (film):

Subvert the mainstream conventions of narrative structure and characterisation

Test the audience's suspension of belief

Such films typically break down cultueral divide between high and low art

Does not abide by traditional narrative expression

Three key characteristics: homage and pastiche, meta-reference/self-reflexivity, bridging of gap between low and high brow artistic styles

Often concerned with liminality


A process of dividing a film into its sequences in order to analyse its form.


Coined by Mark Danielewski

Sign + icon

"Rather than engage those textual faculties of the mind remediating the pictorial or those visual faculties remediating language, the signiconic simultaneously engages both in order to lessen the significance of both and therefore achieve a third perception" (Daniewski, nd.)


Scheme of classification, especially a hierarchical classification, in which things are organised into groups or types; empirical/objective classification and filtration of observable characteristics.

Textual Analysis:

Breaking a film down into its formal elements: narrative and style.

In some: goal to expose underlying meaning - groundwork for symptomatic readings.

Alternative approach - neoformalist.

Detailed breakdown or close reading.

Segmentation as a tool.

Transmedia storytelling

Telling a story or experience across multiple platforms and formats using digital technologies

Various delivery channels


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