Gameplay Journal 7

Eric Kenney
2 min readMar 3, 2021

For this week, I decided to touch upon the popular indie game developed by Team Cherry known as Hollow Knight. This is a game that is so much more that your average metroid-vania style platformer game. This a rather large game littered with the ideas of political structures and social aspects of everyday living. Hollow Knight is the journey of a lone knight traveling through a forgotten kingdom now set in ruin due to a plague that over took the kingdom. As you play throughout the games narrative you uncover and learn more about the history of the kingdom, its people, and its hierarchy. This is a world ruled by a king and queen governed by the people and its higher ups.

This idea in the game of Hollow Knight gets explored in nearly its entirety. According to Belman and Flanagan’s concepts of value based design, a game should be able to “affirm, explore, and question particular cultural, political, and moral values.” (p2) Hollow Knights design questions the political structure of the kingdom given its current fall to ruin. You uncover critical memories and choices made by the King and how the kingdom fell so low. The game does an excellent job of guiding the player to infer and learn regarding certain situations you uncover. You see transitions of power between rulers and the democracy of the people play out through game mechanics and flashbacks. This of course, is all driven by the brilliant narrative of the game and its fluid storyline.

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Reference: Belman, Jonathan, and Mary Flanagan. “Exploring the Creative Potential of Values Conscious Game Design: Students’ Experiences with the VAP Curriculum.” Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture,