The Metaphor is Meaning – "Show, Don't Tell" in Game Design – Extra Credits

July 30, 2020

Every developer should be taking full advantage of the visual and interactive mechanics in games to deliver extra layers of meaning without having to do all game storytelling through text. And players can enhance the depth of their gaming experiences by paying attention to possible metaphors that exist!
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♪ Intro Music: “Penguin Cap” by CarboHydroM

♪ Outro Music: “Wisdom Courage Power”
By: metaphist


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All Comments

  • Where do the literal and metaphorical overlap in a game you've played recently? Share your findings!

    Extra Credits July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • I love that art style!

    Thaias July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Um, this is pretty basic, and applicable to all forms of storytelling. And some of these comparisons are a big easy. Maybe try for some more clever symbolism and metaphor.

    Bthsr71 July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • We need Metaphorical and Literal stuffed toys.

    Nicholas Gawler-Collins July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • 3:36
    3 was great

    Mr. Starch July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Love the art

    Isabella O’Gara July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Something I always say whenever some "artsy", but ultimately empty work of art comes along, one that bluntly poses grand questions, but then doesn't explore them at all, just passing time with generically, and so inter-conflicting "profound" imagery, is this:

    Treat your audience like idiots and eventually they will be.

    Luigi Vercotti July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • 3:20 Moreover, at one time Ripley herself delivers this metaphor in the most blunt and uncompromising way possible, saying something along "The only difference between you and these monsters is that Xenomorphs have acid in place of blood, and Weyland guys have money".

    Andrew Melnikov July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Margikarp just made so much more sense to me.

    Sdog Reads July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • That penguin was adorable.

    J July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • In Psychonauts, basically everything is a metaphor.

    Commentur The Great July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • bravely sires on 3ds and its commentary of how history repeats its self through the sin bosses and some text you can piece together that the previous religion got replaced by crystalism and all the saints and religious story's got assimilated and some got stricken from history.

    The_kiler_goose July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • That closing song though!!

    Tim Griesbach July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Is there a way to sign up to do guest art?

    Gracen Blackwelder July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Metaliteral?

    Maybe game designers should really be called metaliteral artists.

    Jason Gibson July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • The LA-MULANA series characterizes its protagonists this way– though I think it might be TOO subtle.

    We're told that Lemeza has come to the ruins to surpass his father, the greatest archaeologist of his day. The act of facing his absentee father also faces him against the primeval force known as the Mother, a being that terminates everything she has created if it doesn't meet her literally impossible standards. Lemeza (and the player) proves his worthiness and becomes the Chosen One.

    After destroying the greatest archaeological find…. ever, Lemeza has to go into hiding- leaving Lumisa to fill his shoes when the ruins reawaken. Does she fill his shoes, though? The main antagonist is the 9th Child- it may be just as powerful as the Mother, but all it does is carry out the Mother's final wish of vengeance. Lumisa's escapades in EG-LANA are about self discovery rather than self actualization. She learns far more about the people and… forces that conspired to kill the Mother in the first place, and she chooses her own path of bringing The End. When the 9th Child is finally faced head-on, a magical device is used to absorb all of its vengeance. After losing what was passed on from the Mother, it dissolves shortly afterward.

    Mystery Personthing July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • 0:31 Now Wolverine is hosting Extra Credits?! This is getting ridiculous.

    youtoober2013 July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Please bring back the Good Girl vamp and wolf. I love them.

    Spooky Raven July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • One episode with a guest artist you should do a timelord regeneration joke

    Lance Nostrum July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • The Persona series, particularly 4 and 5 are great examples of blurring the line between metaphorical and literal descriptions. Which is a given since the majority of the action takes place in representations of the characters’ subconscious.

    Kuro July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • Holy Carp the part about the Yakuza characters explains Magikarp & Gyarados too.

    PSadlon July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply

    Big Lumpy Beetle July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply
  • In slime rancher, the structure at the end of the game has two doors. This is a metaphor for choice, it symbolizes the fact that, most of the time, if you choose to do one thing, another thing to do gets abandoned, in the case of the character who helps you and who's story you follow, it was to travel through space and time, or love.

    Daylan Adams July 30, 2020 2:26 pm Reply

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