Published by Ian Bogost in , Unit Operations seeks to set out a critical theory which can be applied to any medium, whether it be literature, poetry, cinema or. Bogost explains that computational systems “rely on unit operations as their tag-ian-haydn-smith tag-university-of-texas-press tag-review tag-pmpick. Studies: Rewiring Media Studies for the Digital. Age, pp. 19– London: Arnold. Ian Bogost, Unit Operations: An Approach to. Videogame Criticism. Cambridge.

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Essentially, a video game asks a player to make sense of a bunch of data patterns or abstractions. Today we have something special for you Works like this are inherently unit ixn rather than plot-oriented.

Unit Operations: An Approach to Video Game Criticism

That said, it is probably my favorite book written by him and bovost I personally found relevant whether you’re a critic, artist or a consumer. However, as a simulation, GTA seems to be biased towards violence, as the inhuman NPCs become “props” for the sociopathic urges of the players and many missions involve violent acts Bogost Slavone rated it really liked it Jul 30, Want to Read saving….

The first part third chapter is occupied with contextualizing the need for unit operations by providing examples of how easy it is to fall into totalizing systems, usuing examples of Freud, Hallward, and Kittler among others.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2. Amanda rated it did not like it Mar 05, This leads Bogost to assert that, though unit operations can be applied to any medium, videogames “rely on unit operations as their primary mode of representation, and thus unit operations have a special role in how works like videogames function” More than video games, Bogost’s book delves into memes, movies, travel, and reference to classic morphologies in this quest to explain the definition of “unit operations.


Moreover, this approach can be applied beyond videogames: To get to this stage, however, Bogost takes us through a mini history of the systems bias in literary theory, computation and media analysis, but one that is challenge by his ontology which is is influenced by Lperations, Badiou, Deleuze and Harman. This theme of waiting interacts with all the other units of the film characters, setting, etc.

Unit Operations

Torill Mortensen rated it really liked it Mar 06, Geoffrey Hagberg rated it it was amazing Aug 27, The book is divided into 4 sections. Sometimes, gets a bit too preoccupied with the eponymous concept of unit operations and opertions over-complicating it by making it seem universal with mixed results.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. In my mind, it is the most important moment in the study of a videogame. The structuralism of Levi-Strauss examined myths at a structural level, grouping them through their units of meaning, rather than their contingent content.

It is this counting mechanism that configures the set as bogots distinct unit. The third section goes back to broader concepts, providing a thorough outline of the simulation in regards to play, cellular automata, and real-world simulation as opposed to video game simulation.


The sceond chapter is concerned with unpacking how system operations and unit operations work within the fields of philosophy, literary crtiticism, and technology by providing historical examples. This is a structured series of notes on the book to give an overview of its contents and its main arguments. In his final chapter, Bogost looks ahead to the position of videogame studies in the world of the university.

The Bogowt and Culture of Online Games. He continues with an analysis of Star Wars Galaxiesa game Koster himself worked on which has ironically been criticized for not being fun due to unut long travel times between places, the inneffective use of cantinas for required meeting places, and the difficulties of obtaining materials for crafting items In this process, the unit operations of a simulation embody themselves in a player’s understanding.

Unit Operations | Ian Bogost

Systems are still needed, but they are no longer rigid deterministic structures: This is a work at the absolute pinnacle of its field. Bogost eventually brings the concept around to Jesper Juul’s notion of emergence i.

Katie Chico rated it liked it Feb 26, Bogost reads the game’s cantina and bazaar culture as “unit operations for one real world referent in particular: To ask other readers questions about Unit Operationsplease sign up.