Abstraction in experimental animation and computer games

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


There are many similarities between the fields of experimental animation and experimental computer games. For example, conceptually, many examples are subjective representations of the artists’ experiences or point of view; structurally, experimental works avoid the conventions of their medium, seeking to express and communicate in innovative ways; and stylistically, many make use of abstract visual form as representative devices. It is not possible for an audience to passively engage with such experimental works in the same way as their more conventional counterparts due to the unconventional nature of the media. Instead the work must be ‘read’ by the audience or player so that they can interpret the meaning behind the work. The author seeks to explore the concept of interpretation through discussion of examples of experimental animation and computer games. Within this discussion design principles which impact upon interpretation of an art work are identified and are explored to help to further define an interpretive language for abstraction. To evaluate these ideas, the author will discuss practical experimentation in the form of game prototype development. The aim being to create a playful experience whilst utilizing the identified design principles to encourage player interpretation of abstract ideas. Finally, by drawing parallels between the abstraction techniques used in experimental animation and experimental games, further experiments are proposed to improve our understanding of how audiences interpret abstract media.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCONFIA
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Conference on Illustration and Animation
Place of PublicationPorto
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9789899756762
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Event2nd International Conference in Illustration and Animation - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 29 Nov 201330 Nov 2013
Conference number: 2nd


Conference2nd International Conference in Illustration and Animation
Abbreviated titleCONFIA 2013


  • Abstraction
  • Abstract art
  • Experimental animation
  • Computer games


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