Port or conversion? An ontological framework for classifying game versions

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The notion of a “game port” appears in both: the popular discourse surrounding video games as well as the academic discourse. As pointed out in the literature, it is notoriously vague and often overlaps with other similar concepts, such as “conversion”. We show that the main reason for the murkiness of the notion of a “game port” is its close connection to the marketing narrative which changed during history. We argue, that despite the problematic nature of the concept of a “game port” it is indispensable in context such as game analysis and game preservation. For this reason, we propose a formal classification of different game versions suitable for future use in these selected contexts.