Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Committee Member

Dr. David Blakesley, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Cynthia Haynes

Committee Member

Dr. Matthew Boyer

Committee Member

Dr. David Donar


Affective Gaming is an intervention in the field of game studies, designed to address the lack of racial diversity in games. I examine the role that emotion plays in games by melding game studies and rhetorical theory with affect theory and critical identity studies. I build a theory of gaming that is attuned to the way games provoke emotion in players in order to bring a new understanding of identity to game studies. I then turn towards a theory of game design that uses affect toward a rhetorical end, and finally turn this toward games in the classroom. I also produce a video game prototype to accompany the dissertation to illustrate the intersection of mechanics and narrative that I write about, and to show what is possible when games are considered rhetorically.