Th e diff erence in discourse made me realize one of the main problems of videogame analysis and criticism. Videogame fans talk about games by borrowing terms from game reviews, which at the same time cover the talking points provided by marketing: Fantastic graphics! Immersive gameplay! Hollywood-like stories!
I want students who are passionate about games to snap out of their shallow discourse and use their knowledge to discuss games with the depth and nuance they deserve
the aim here is to highlight what the aspects of games are that not only defi ne them, but also distinguish them from other media.
Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens(1938) (Luden = game, recreation) , one of the foundational texts of game studies, discusses play as an essential aspect of cultural practice
Gamingculture—it is more likely that videogame fans will watch a videogame review on YouTube, or read a development blog than any of the papers given at the DiGRA conference
The effect of marketing
Game reviews are one of the fi rst (and often only) types of game writing that mainstream audiences are exposed to. Th is type of writing can be subject to a series of economic pressures that may condition its content.
Scholars should be able to talk about what we like and what we do not with a certain level of nuance, understanding our role as players and how our experience may diff er from other people’s, being able to explain what it means to have a user interface that does not follow conventional confi gurations, or discuss the diff erences between the male and female player characters in terms of mechanics.
By providing tools to analyze games in a cultivated way and promoting the generalization of academic discourse, my hope is that the readers of this book realize that there are many ways to talk about games. Improving the discourse will allow players to engage with games in novel ways and become more critical of what they play.
diversity of ways to engage with games, ranging from the casual player to the ludophile who knows about the history and form of the medium in depth.
Th e methods I propose here are strategies for textual analysis applied to games, both digital and non-digital, derived from a humanistic background.