The anthropological concept of multimodality raises interesting questions when applied to video game studies.
Where some anthropologists assume that the moniker of multimedia is synonymous with multimodality, this commonplace and seemingly self-evident term fails to capture the polysemic affordances of a floating signifier smuggled in from unrelated technical and industrial fields. The current uptake of multimodality in anthropology links to its deployment by semioticians, who depart from traditions that privilege verbal language in isolation and push to better understand how the combination of various “semiotic resources” influence meaning making (Kress & van Leeuwen 2001). While various sign systems, including language, images, gestures, dress, music, architecture, and so forth, all constitute specific modes, proponents have come to see these resources within integrated wholes ( Jewitt et al. 2016), a combination that constitutes “the normal state of human communication” (Kress 2010).