Hardcore 18: Un-Situated Play? Textual Analysis and Digital Games. Diane Carr

Un-Situated Play? Textual Analysis and Digital Games. [1]

Diane Carr

The shortcomings associated with analysis that focuses ‘on the game itself’[2] are widely and casually acknowledged, yet ‘textual analysis’ as a methodology remains rarely or broadly defined in Game Studies literature. Sometimes broad definitions are appropriate, but when the topic under discussion is a methodology (or its limitations) something more specific is probably called for. Continue reading

hc17: Jose Zagal. Who Will Continue to Blaze the Trail?

Game Studies: Who Will Continue to Blaze the Trail?

Games Studies is a recently established field. Regardless of whether or not we agree that 2001 was the “year one” of this emerging, viable and international field (Aarseth, 2001), the truth is that videogames have not been around much longer. Games, of course, pre-date videogames and have been studied for over a hundred years in the context of other fields including anthropology and the social sciences (Juul, 2001). However, as far as videogames are concerned, there have not been more than ten years of systematic, concerted, and collective study, research, and publication. Continue reading

hc 16: Michael Nitsche – Rattling Cages

It is with a melancholic sigh that one looks back at the Neanderthal days of early Game Studies. The field seemed so wide and fresh, so unexplored. And games researchers had so much to talk about as they stepped into that undiscovered country. Aristotle and Propp were exciting, hidden universes seemed to open up behind words like ‘ludic’, ‘narrative’, or ‘ergodic.’ Opinions were crafted, arguments waged, and more fine new words were invented. It was clear: Game Studies was something different, something special, something new. But those pioneering days are gone. Continue reading

hc11: Rune Klevjer Genre Blindness

Genre blindness

Rune Klevjer Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen

There is a curious lack of genre studies in our field, which strikes me as a bit of a missed opportunity. It means that variation, tension and significant detail too easily fall below the radar of academic game studies. It also means that we are less able to bridge the gap between the very specific and the very general, and less able to describe the connections between aesthetic convention and social practice. Continue reading

hc12: Julian Kucklich Game Studies 2.0

Game Studies 2.0 or Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel

Only five years after the ‘year one’ of game studies, it looks like the colonization of gamespace is over. First came the narratologists, seeking refuge from a world that had grown increasingly hostile to their humble profession year by year. They were usually well-meaning, bespectacled and slightly disorganised, wearing corduroy jackets and a mildly puzzled expression on their faces. Continue reading

hc9: Chris Chesher, Games studies and the Hot Coffee moral panic

Games studies and the Hot Coffee moral panic

Chris Chesher, August 2005

Computer games are on trial once again, after a sex scandal involving Carl Johnson, the central character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (GTA:SA). At first, the game’s distributor, Rockstar Games, denied the charge that Carl could have sex with his girlfriend (after she invites him in for hot coffee ). Continue reading