The Analysis of Isaac: Day One

I’ve always been a huge fan of The Binding of Isaac series made by Edmund McMillen, so much so that I even wrote a game theory article about it at one point. I have put over 104 hours of playtime into The Binding of Isaac and 309 hours of playtime into its sequel, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I have unlocked every achievement and completed Rebirth, yet I still go back and replay the game. I enjoy it so much, but there was always an avenue that I have never really looked into, and that was peering into how the rest of the community viewed the game. With the next DLC (downloadable content for the layman) update coming out in less than 4 weeks, why don’t we take a look at what goes on in r/bindingofisaac?

According to Understanding Rhetoric, a graphic novel by Elizabeth Losh et al., “To work in a genre, you should understand its expected conventions. … We can see genre conventions at play in many online spaces. … And while each of these writing spaces … can have its own genre conventions, each can also accommodate a wide variety of genres.” The conventions of the subreddit lend themselves to giving people a space where they can share their individual experiences and tributes to a video game that they all enjoy. After taking a brief look at the general setup of this Reddit community, I can see that each post to this subreddit falls under specific sub-genres: images of events happening to people in their runs of the game, discussions on how certain items in the game could be made better, ideas for new items that could be implemented into the game, people telling stories of different runs they’ve had of the game and miscellaneous other conversations.

From what I can tell so far, communication between people tends to be pretty nice and criticism of ideas and questions all comes constructively. There are links to the subreddit rules, external wikis, online guides and tools, videos, chat servers, official sites for the game series, sister subreddits and the list of moderators for the subreddit conveniently placed in the sidebar, so people shouldn’t have to roam too far to find the information that they are looking for. Like Losh et al. says, “… genre is about joining a conversation and understanding the rules of that conversation. You can think of genre as the structure, the space of conventions, through which we communicate our own ideas, in conversation with others.” This subreddit makes it easy for people to join in on the conversations about a game that they all enjoy and share ideas and experiences with; it’s warm and inviting and even new players are welcome to enter the subreddit and become a part of the fun, as they are given tips and advice from veterans to the series.

That’s all I have for my analysis of The Binding of Isaac today, and for the next couple of days I will be analyzing how those aspects have changed from today and other new information that arises as I observe.

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