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03 NOVEMBER 2012

Where Else Can You Read about Games and Cultural Heritage?

Games and Culture – a subscription-based journal published by Sage with an emphasis on videogames and the social sciences; Games Studies – an open-access, international journal covering a variety of disciplinary (and occasionally, designer) perspectives; Eludamos – open-access, international, and multidisciplinary, ELUDAMOS makes forays into territory very familiar to Play the Past readers; Loading… – the official (open-access) journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association, Loading… often features articles that focus on videogames and narrative.


academic journals • Canadian Game Studies Association • cultural heritage • Eludamos (academic games journal) • game studies • games and cultural heritage • games and culture • Games and Culture (academic games journal) • games research • Games Studies (academic games journal) • Loading... (academic games journal) • videogames and play


Simon Perkins
08 OCTOBER 2012

LUDOLOGY MEETS NARRATOLOGY: Similitude and differences between (video)games and narrative

"Literary theory and narratology have been helpful to understand cybertexts and videogames. Aristotelian Poetics [Laurel, 1993], Russian formalism [Porush and Hivner, ?], and poststructuralism [Landow, 1992] are some of the different perspectives that have been used to study the subject.

Some authors see cybertexts and videogames as a new form of or as an expansion of traditional narrative or drama. The fact is that these computer programs share many elements with stories: characters, chained actions, endings, settings.

However, there is another dimension that has been usually almost ignored when studying this kind of computer software: to analyze them as games.

The problems of using a 'game' perspective are many. Basically, traditional games have always had less academic status than other objects, like narrative. And because of this, game formalist studies are fragmented through different disciplines, and not very well developed.

In this paper we will propose to explore videogames and cybertexts as games. Our intention is not to replace the narratologic approach, but to complement it. We want to better understand what is the relationship with narrative and videogames; their similarities and differences."

(Gonzalo Frasca, 1999)

Frasca, Gonzalo (1999) 'Ludology Meets Narratology. Similitude and Differences between (Video)games and Narrative'. Originally published in Finnish in Parnasso 1999: 3, 365–71.


1999 • Albert Sidney Hornby • Andre Lalande • Aristotelian Poetics • Aristotles Poetics • Brenda Laurelcausalitycausally relatedcausally related narrative events • chained actions • character • Claude Bremond • computer programme • computer software • cybertext • cybertexts • Daniel Vidart • David Porush • ending • Espen AarsethFILE (festival) • game formalist studies • game perspective • game studiesgame theorygames • George Landow • Gerald Prince • Gonzalo Frasca • Jean Piagetliterary theory • ludology • narrative and videogames • narratologic approach • narratologynew form • Oswald Ducrot • post-structuralism • Roger Caillois • Roland Barthes • Russian formalism • Schaeffer Jean-Marie • setting • similarities and differences • stories • studying games • Todd Hivnor • traditional drama • traditional narrative • Umberto Ecovideo gamevideogames


Simon Perkins
11 NOVEMBER 2011

Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies

"Wardrip–Fruin builds upon the foundation laid by Lev Manovich, who, in his 2002 book The Language of New Media, suggested that the natural development of media studies in an age of 'programmable media' should be 'software studies' (a set of approaches which includes 'expressive processing' but also code studies which, in Wardrip–Fruin's words, looks at 'the specific text of code' written by developers).

Expressive Processing fulfills and extends the promise of Manovich's ideas, putting the theory into practice through a set of case studies of the artificial intelligence engines of a dozen or so software programs that might be loosely called 'games.' That the first real example of a software studies approach comes out of game studies is both to be expected and (somewhat) regretted. On one hand, games of the sort Wardrip–Fruin examines are a medium for storytelling and character creation, and as such are natural extensions of the work of previous literary and media studies scholars and thereby set up a convenient space for humanities scholars and teachers to consider the important cultural and technical issues raised by Wardrip–Fruin in an environment more familiar than, for instance, an analysis of the software that drives Walmart (one of Wardrip–Fruin's suggestions for another work of software studies scholarship). Unfortunately, like graphic novels and musical theater, the genre is still too easily dismissed as popular entertainment by too many of those who most need to hear Wardrip–Fruin's arguments."

(Doug Reside, 2010)

Reside, D. (Fall 2010). "A review of Noah Wardrip–Fruin's Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies." Digital Humanities Quarterly 4(2).



academic journal • ADHO • codecode studiescultural analyticsdatadigital culturedigital humanities • Digital Humanities Quarterly (academic journal) • expressive processing • game studiesgraphic novelhumanitiesinformation aestheticsLev Manovichliterary studiesmedia studiesmusical theatre • Noah Wardrip-Fruin • popular culture • popular entertainment • programmable mediasoftwaresoftware literacysoftware studiesstorytellingtext of codeThe Language of New Mediavisualisation • Walmart


Simon Perkins
30 JULY 2009

Digital Games Research Association

"Founded in 2003, DiGRA is the premiere international association for academics and professionals who research digital games and associated phenomena. It encourages high–quality research on games, and promotes collaboration and dissemination of work by its members."

(Digital Games Research Association)



2003critical theory • Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) • DiGRAenquirygamegame designgame studiesgame theorygameplaygamesindie gamesresearchtheory buildingvideo games


Simon Perkins

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