magazén International Journal for Digital and Public Humanities

Journal | magazén
Monographic journal issue | 4 | 2 | 2023
Research Article | Megadungeon: A Model for Media Complexity

Megadungeon: A Model for Media Complexity


The essay aims to propose the diagrammatic structure of the megadungeon as a metaphor to represent the complexity, interconnectedness, and multi-layered nature of the current media scenario, including its active branches such as new media art and Digital Humanities. The reference is drawn from the concept of the dungeon, which has been successfully introduced into the realm of role-playing games since the 1970s. Conventionally, a dungeon refers to a complex, multi-level maze of corridors, tunnels, rooms, and hidden chambers. The nature of dungeons is to be theoretically infinite floor plans that game designers have learned to produce algorithmically: when they cross a certain size threshold, they are known as megadungeons. In this article, I propose the megadungeon as a productive topological model that intersects different sociotechnical aspects of digital media, drawing on shared characteristics such as a layered structure, labyrinthine exploration, game-derived grammar, and an affinity with computational domain. Additionally, the essay proposes comparisons with similar representation models that challenge outdated cartographic metaphors and addresses specific connections between new media and the concepts of verticality and stratification

Open access | Peer reviewed

Submitted: Sept. 20, 2023 | Accepted: Nov. 27, 2023 | Published Dec. 19, 2023 | Language: en

Keywords DungeonDigital mediaIn-game worldbuildingNew media artGeology of media

Subtags Technology Publication Modelling Works of Art Environment Image data Visualisation

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