Secret Games, Puzzle Narratives and Playful Decrypting. Gamified Dissimulations in Contemporary Media Narratives
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Many scholars have discussed the recent expansion and mixing of Play in our societies, a process generally labelled cultural gamification or ludification. Many cultural phenomena and societal domains are increasingly permeated by ludic elements, metaphors and mindsets. The influence of cultural gamification can also be seen in the media system, through the spread of game-like patterns influencing the narratives and usage of different media. The aim of this paper is to describe the emergence of game-like narratives and interaction in media, focusing on their semiotic dissimulation patterns. More specifically, the following pages will present and analyse recent playful elements and patterns connected to mystery, thriller and similar genres, investigating the ways in which game models interact with other media, and the resulting decrypting and dissimulation effects, both at the textual and at the discoursive level.