Fiction denial and the liberation of games

Bateman, Chris ORCID: 0000-0003-1627-8392 (2013) Fiction denial and the liberation of games. Working Paper. University of Bolton. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Since its inception, the field of game studies has pursued an attitude of exceptionalism that treats the videogame as a unique form that must be approached differently from the ways other media are studied. This stance is parallel to the exceptionalism towards humanity that continued to treat animals and humans as radically distinct concepts until the late twentieth century. By examining different aspects of videogame exceptionalism, particularly the fiction denial that considers the rules of games to be radically more important than their representational elements, an argument is advanced that videogame exceptionalism is distorting our understanding of both videogames and other forms of play and narrative. It is further argued that it is misleading to talk of the difference between videogames and other creative media without saying which genres are being compared within each medium. There is therefore a need for a 'game liberation' that will cease to treat the history and genealogy of videogames as constrained solely to digital artefacts – rather, a complete understanding of videogames requires an appreciation for their connectivity with the other forms of play and fiction that both predate it, and that continue to exchange conventions with it. Short Description: Fiction denial claims that rules are more important than representation in videogames, and is an archetypal form of exceptionalism that treats videogames as radically distinct from other media. However, it is misleading to talk of the difference between videogames and other media without saying which genres are being compared within each medium.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: This is the limited edition working paper version of an ab extra submission to DiGRA 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: exceptionalism, videogames, representation, fiction, rules, tabletop games, narrative media, fiction denial, Juul's Trench, game liberation
Divisions: School of Creative Technologies > Games Computing and software engineering
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2016 08:25
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2018 10:03
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/921

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