Giantness and Excess in Dark Souls


Using the Dark Souls series as an example, I examine how a frame of `monster of excess’ can be used to read giantness in digital games. The monster of excess finds a paradigmatic example in the giant, an age-old mythic figure still prevalent within digital games. Many elements are directly borrowed or translated from other artistic forms such as film and literature. But, in this paper, I focus on how excess is encoded ludically, and how that links with the more representational and aesthetic depictions of excess within the games. I find that elements such as the camera and the game’s interface, along with the player-character are all affected by giantness, with giants seeming to exist in excess of the games’ established frames.

Proceedings of the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG ‘20)