On perspectives and ergodics: video games as literature
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Video games are currently stigmatized in general culture as a lesser form of entertainment, and much of the current scholarly debate on them is unable to identify those games that also function as works of literature and to perform appropriate critical analysis. This thesis aims to rectify the above through two separate engagements. The first engagement demonstrates that the current scholarly debate over avatars can be redirected into a more productive debate on perspectives: the way in which a player is situated within a game and how this alters how the game story is told. The second engagement is with Espen Aarseth’s concept of ergodic literature, and thus demonstrate how this unique property of video games allows for the traversal of a video game’s narrative. These two issues when considered together provide a method for determining whether a video game is attempting to also be literature.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeHynes, Peter; Vargo, Lisa; Mandryk, Regan; Flynn, Kevin
Copyright DateSeptember 2009