Indoor Fireworks: The Pleasures of Digital Game Pyrotechnics

Simon Niedenthal


Fireworks in games translate the sensory power of a real-world aesthetic form to the realm of digital simulation and gameplay. Understanding the role of fireworks in games can best be pursued through through a threefold aesthetic perspective that focuses on the senses, on art, and on the aesthetic experience that gives pleasure through the player’s participation in the simulation, gameplay and narrative potentials of fireworks. In games ranging from Wii Sports and Fantavision, to Okami and Assassin’s Creed II, digital fireworks are employed as a light effect, and are also the site for  gameplay pleasures that include design and performance, timing and rhythm, and power and awe. Fireworks also gain narrative significance in game forms through association with specific sequences and characters. Ultimately, understanding the role of fireworks in games provokes us to reverse the scrutiny, and to consider games as fireworks, through which we experience ludic festivity and voluptuous panic.


Fireworks; Pyrotechnics; Digital Games; Game Aesthetics

Full Text: