REINVENTING ANALOG GAME STUDIES

Game studies–once considered a marginal field–is now over a decade old, and its share of the academic and cultural spotlight grows daily. But all spotlights cast shadows. In 2001, computer games hovered at the margins of what were then emerging studies in digital media. Lev Manovich’s The Language of New Media published that year, for example, focused on the privileged spaces of installation art, hypertext literature, and cinema over any discussion of games as a medium.1 As digital media studies blossomed, however, computer games suddenly became that which–above all else–exemplified radical new directions in scholarship. In his introduction to the first issue of Game Studies, Espen Aarseth noted that the field should be prepared to encounter both the “Nintendo-Hollywood” industrial complex, as well as open-source revolutions in design and distribution cropping up everywhere on the Internet. Computer games would become essential to understanding the intersection of digital media with popular culture; similarly, nothing could have been more in-vogue than Game Studies, an open-access online publication, dedicated to these games’ analysis and critique.

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https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6686717.v1