The new gatekeepers: The occupational ideology of game journalism

Sihvonen Tanja
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper will contextualize the occupational ideology of game journalism by providing a brief introduction to the political economy of game publications. The role of various industry actors (e.g. game publishers, PR agents and brand managers) will be positioned against those of the peripheral industry (e.g. critics, journalists, and editors). Because the game industry is the principal advertiser for many game publications, and because of its tight grip on the most valuable source material, i.e. (early) access to games and restricted insider information, the job of a game journalist consists in many ways of balancing acts between a perceived loyalty to the reading public and a dependency on industry material.


In Perpetual Beta? On the Participatory Design of Facebook Games

Jacobs Melinda Sihvonen Tanja
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper proposes a new way of looking into the ‘sociality’ of social (network) games. On the basis of looking closely at the development of Frontierville, a popular Facebook game, and more abstractly at the development of its fellow Zynga Facebook-based games (such as Farmville or Cityville), we argue that various network-based forms of participatory design are increasingly becoming both influential and indispensable in social (network) based game design than ever before. Although participatory design in gaming is not new, the way in which participatory design is being used in social (network) games is new, giving the player a greater and more immediate role in the game design than ever before. Whether this is for better or worse, this form of participation fostered by the structure of social networks has allowed social (network) game players to become much more powerful than previous in their relationship to the game industry.