This article rethinks the notion of the Sinophone through digital technology by using the Taiwanese videogame Word Game (Wenzi youxi, Team9, 2022) as a case study. The digital Sinophone sees Chineseness as an act of positive identification claimed by engaging with digital artifacts; it defines a single mass audience coterminous with the Sinophone cultural sphere. Word Game constructs a two-dimensional space in which all objects are composed of sinographs, requiring the player to possess extensive knowledge of the construction of and relationship between sinographs according to Chinese grammatical and semiotic uses in order to progress in the game. Contrary to the internationalizing tendencies of the videogame market and the long history of tension between sinographic writing and the typographical technologies of technological modernity, the result is a uniquely Sinophone videogame. In Word Game, the logic of gameplay mechanics consists not of mathematical universals but culturally determined relationships between sinographs. The article concludes by examining the implications for the interdisciplinary study of videogames. Whereas contemporary videogame studies seeks to situate video gaming in broader cultural discourses, a culturalist view of videogames sees game mechanics as cocreators of culture rather than a mirror of culture.

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