From the text adventures of Zork, to the arcade game of Pac-Man, to the corridors of Doom, and on to the city streets of Grand Theft Auto IV, the maze has often been used as a space to trap and confuse players in their navigation of gameworlds. However, the maze as a construction on the landscape has a long history before the invention of the videogame. By examining the change in the maze from the landscapes of open spaces and closed gardens through to the screen of the videogame, both mazes and labyrinths are discussed in terms of historical reference, alongside the author's personal experiences of walking and playing these structures. This book shows how our cultural experiences of real world maze landscapes may have changed, and how we negotiate videogame worlds along the various paths and meanings they so often create for us.
Alison Gazzard is a senior lecturer in digital cultures and media in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.