"Play, Memory": Shadow of the Colossus and Cognitive Workouts

by David Ciccoricco

This paper applies the distinction of episodic and procedural memory from cognitive science to the experience of contemporary video games. It aims to illustrate how participation in the simulative digital environments of "coherent world games" not only draws on but also relies on both forms of memory. Toward this end, the paper employs Fumito Ueda's _Shadow of the Colossus_ (2005), a game that combines a complexity of interaction (play and puzzle-solving) with a narrative complexity that allows for - and encourages - an interpretative understanding of its characters and storyworld.

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