Platform Studies, Computational Essentialism, and Magic: The Gathering

The new issue of Analog Game Studies is out now. Among other articles, it also includes my essay Platform Studies, Computational Essentialism, and Magic: The Gathering, in which I deal with the social and culutral aspects of the game and contest the platform studies framework that often takes such social forces for granted and emphasizes hardware and software aspects of platforms.


“Footage Not Representative”: Redefining Paratextuality for the Analysis of Official Communication in the Video Game Industry

The edited volume Contemporary Research on Intertextuality in Video Games was just published by IGI Global. Among the chapters which cover various transtextual and intertextual relationships, there is also my proposed update of the Genettian paratextual framework in the context of video game industry - Footage Not Representative”: Redefining Paratextuality for the Analysis of Official Communication in the Video Game Industry.

In the chapter, I provide a critique of the current typology of texts based on relationships of so-called textual transcendence. I argue that the term paratext is reductive because it simplifies the complex relationships and connections between texts and socio-historical realities - paratexts often feature different types of textual relatioships and they should be seen as texts in their own right, not just as subordinate promotional materials. Thus, I propose a more nuanced inquiry into paratextuality that examines the consitituents of paratextual relationships (redefined as links or connections between a text and the socio-historical reality) without labeling whole parts of textual systems as paratexts. Apart from the redefinition, the chapter includes four case studies of video game paratextuality: trailers for Mass Effect Andromeda, infographics of Evolve, website presentation of the Borderlands series and patch notes for Destiny.  


Analog Game Studies: Volume I

The first volume of the Analog Game Studies journal was just published by the ETC Press. The full book can be downloaded for free here in PDF or purchased in a paperback form at Lulu. Among other articles and essays on analog games, there is also my piece on board game errata as paratexts which was previously published in the online journal in 2014. The volume was edited by Aaron Trammell, Evan Torner and Emma Leigh Waldron.

Analog Game Studies is a bi-monthy journal for the research and critique of analog games. It defines analog games broadly and includes work on tabletop and live-action role-playing games, board games, card games, pervasive games, game-like performances, carnival games, experimental games, and more.


Towards a Typology of Video Game Trailers in G|A|M|E

The Evolve 4v1 trailer is an example of the interface trailer.
My interest in video game trailers has turned into an article in G|A|M|E, the Italian Journal of Game Studies. The article is open-access and can be found here. I already attempted few trailer analyses at this blog back in 2011 (modern and retro), however they were written largely from an enthusiast's perspective. The article "Towards a typology of video game trailers: Between the ludic and the cinematic" is taking more academic approach. It first briefly reviews current research into video game trailers and surrounding industry and popular practice of trailer typologies and marketing and then proceeds to present my own theory-driven take on the typology of video game trailers introducing three different categories of trailers: performance, transmedia and interface trailers. Check the article and the whole new issue of the G|A|M|E journal about re-framing of video games in the light of cinema here.


Regarding Board Game Errata on Analog Game Studies

Mansion of Madness errata insert.
Follow-up (and also a significant improvement) to my previous article (Changing the Rules, Keeping the Fiction) on game rules and errata has just been published in the fifth issue of Analog Game Studies. It describes errata as paratexts using Gerard Genette's framework and Alexander R. Galloway's notion of the interface effect. It features examples from boardgames Mansions of Madness, City of Remnants and A Few Acres of Snow. Read the full article and check the whole journal at: analoggamestudies.org.

Direct link: http://analoggamestudies.org/2014/12/regarding-board-game-errata/.