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To Die Right: The Impact of Ludic Forms on the Engagement with Characters

Henriette Heidbrink

Keywords: CHARACTER; DEATH; ENGAGEMENT; FILM ANALYSIS; LUDIC FORM; MORPHOLOGY; RECEPTION

This article raises the question to what extent ludic forms affect the audience's engagement with characters. By introducing the analytic method of morphologic observation, the interrelation between ludic forms and narrative context becomes the main focus. Moreover, this allows a closer look at the filmic characters that are also affected by the integration of ludic forms. By exploring films that deal with the death of a main character and would usually call for tragic effects, the article shows how ludic forms partially inhibit the typical engagement with characters. Other forms of blocking empathy are discussed and the article closes with some thoughts on the consequences of ludic films on reception and pedagogic or therapeutic potential.

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