Discourses of Digital Games

Discourse shapes the way we see the world. In game design and game studies, discourse also shapes the games we make, the games we play, and how we think and talk about games more generally. One key discursive construction in contemporary game culture is to portray some games as ‘real’ or ‘authentic,’ rendering others as fake or lesser. In this talk we analyze the discourse surrounding videogames, particularly as developers, scholars and fans attempt to make distinctions between social games, casual games, ‘core’ games and sports games. We outline and discuss four key discursive constructions that prop up notions of what are real and what are ‘fake’ games: a developer’s pedigree, the mechanics of a game, celebrations of depth and complexity as markers of ‘real’ games, and the payment structure for games. We argue that these appeals also construct a category of real gamers that has a substantial impact on what games are, how they get legitimated and studied, and how we think and talk about them in everyday conversation.

Dr. Mia Consalvo
Dr. Christopher Paul
Monday, October 14, 2013 - 09:00 - 10:45

Submitted Papers

Main Author Paper
Dr. Christopher Paul Panel Moderator
Dr. Mia Consalvo Panel Moderator