Baba Is You: Doing Things With Words
Keywords:Video games, language, learning, pragmatics, metalanguage
Baba is you is a 2D electronic game in which the player-controlled character pushes word-blocks around in order to build sentences, which make up the rules governing the simulated environment. With Baba is you as the case in point, we bring up parallels between video games and Wolfgang Iser’s reader-response theory, J.L. Austin’s pragmatics, and Gregory Bateson’s levels of learning. By considering self-reference paradoxes, metalanguage, and the map-territory distinction, Baba is you becomes an intuitive philosophic playground by enticing players to question not only language and its uses, but some conceptions about games – and life, as well.
BATESON, Gregory (2000). Steps to an ecology of mind. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
BOGOST, Ian (2007). Persuasive games: The expressive power of videogames. Cambridge; London: The MIT Press.
IMABAYASHI, Hiroyuki (1982). Sokoban. [Digital media for PC. Developed and published by: Thinking Rabbit. Electronic game.] Retrieved Aug. 24th, 2020, from https://www.retrogames.cz/play_409-DOS.php
ISER, Wolfgang (2013). O fictício e o imaginário: Perspectivas de uma antropologia literária [The Fictive and The Imaginary] (2nd rev. ed.). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: EdUERJ.
______ (1978). The act of reading. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
JAKOBSON, Roman (1985). Metalanguage as a linguistic problem. In: RUDY, Stephen. (Ed.). Roman Jakobson: Selected writings VII. The Hague-Paris-New
York / Berlin-Amsterdam-New York: Mouton (p. 113-121). Retrieved Sep. 8th, 2020, from https://www.lacomunicazione.it/documenti/Jakobson_Metalanguage-as-a-linguistic-problem.pdf
JONES, Edward & GERARD, Harold (1967). Dyadic interaction: A conceptual framework. Foundations of social psychology. New York: J. Wiley. p. 505-536.
LAING, Ronald; PHILLIPSON, Herbert & LEE, A. Russell (1974). Percepção interpessoal. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Eldorado.
LAING, Ronald (1974). A política da experiência e a ave-do-paraíso. Petrópolis, Brazil: Vozes.
SEARLE, John (1970). Speech acts. Cambridge: At the University Press.
TEIKARI, Arvi (2019). Baba is you. [Electronic game. Digital media for PC. Developed and published by: Hempuli.] Retrieved Jul. 27th, 2020, from www.steam.com
VAIHINGER, Hans (2011). A filosofia do como se [The philosophy of ‘as if’]. [Translation and preface by Johannes Kretschmer.] Chapecó, Brazil: Argos.
Copyright (c) 2021 Simone Silva Campos
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.The copyright for work in this journal is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to the journal. In keeping with a Creative Commons license, articles are free to use with proper attribution (to both the author and Loading…) for educational and other non-commercial uses.