The Pleasures of Adaptation in Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be

Games are merely one of many forms of play, but play itself is not tied to any one object or activity. It is something much bigger; it is a way of being in the world.The most salient attribute of play is the fundamental connection between play and pleasure. Connecting play with pleasure allows analysis to shift from the cerebral, structural, and technical content of games to the heart of why we play games to begin with. To pursue pleasure is to loosen the knots of hegemonic discourse. In order to more deeply explore the relationship between play and pleasure, I will theorize adaptation as a mode of play. In order to do this, I use Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be: A Chooseable-Path Adventure as a case study.

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