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Work in Progress: Towards a Unified Approach to the Study of Video Games Through Multimodal Corpora

Video games (VG) are complex multimodal systems. The field of New Media has not yet produced, until now, a unified method to study the content of VGs; one that can be adapted to different genres and that produces verifiable and replicable results. This st

Isamar Carrillo Masso

on 14 May 2014

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Transcript of Work in Progress: Towards a Unified Approach to the Study of Video Games Through Multimodal Corpora

A Transdisciplinary Approach to the Study of Video Games: A Case for Multimodal Corpora

Why is a Unified Approach Necessary?
The field of games studies hasn't produced one yet
It is necessary to produce replicable, verifiable results
It will make the field more open to others for collaboration
It will make cooperation between game producers, game consumers and researchers easier
More transparency
We can move on from there into deeper aspects of games studies, as yet unexplored
Previous Research
The need for a method has been felt for some time (Aarseth, 2003; Brooker 2001; Consalvo & Dutton, 2006). (Until now most methods have been project-specific, e.g. Carrillo Masso [2009]).
There have been a few attempts at creating non-project-specific approaches (Konzack, 2002; Aarseth, 2003; Consalvo & Dutton, 2006).
This methodology will build partly on a critical view of those previous attempts, as well as of my own previous research.
Aspects to Consider
Games as texts have to be seen as the complex product of the game’s rules, the experience of gameplay, and the content of the game itself, including its user interface.
The use of software will help deal with complexity.
To study games as texts their complexity has to be broken down into layers (Konzack 2002; Consalvo & Dutton 2006).
A system for tag creation is necessary.
Summary: Principles of the Proposed Method
This study will attempt to fill that void by producing a methodology for studying video games as multimodal texts
Combines Fairclough’s (2003) and Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2006) approaches to critical and multimodal discourse analysis, with . Baker’s [2006] approach to corpus-based discourse analysis
Key use of multimodal transcription and text analysis (Baldry and Thibault 2006).
The method will be based on the codifiable correlations between purely linguistic, aural and visual data
Follows the approach to computer game image analysis in Carrillo Masso (2009, 2010).
Isamar Carrillo Masso
School of Creative Studies and Media
Bangor University
Key References
Carrillo Masso, I.C. (2009). Developing a methodology for corpus-based computer game studies. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 1(2), pp. 145--172.
Carrillo Masso, I.C. (2010). The Grips of Fantasy: Female characters in and beyond second lives. In A. Ensslin and E. Muse, Creating Second Lives, London: Routledge.
Carrillo Masso, I., and Abrams, N. (2014). The Pixelated Jew: Reading Judaism in Videogames In H. Campbell, Finding Religion in Digital Gaming, London: Routledge.
Ensslin, A. (2011) The Language of Gaming, Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan
Consalvo, M., Dutton, N. (2006). Game analysis: developing a methodological toolkit for the qualitative study of games. Game Studies 6(1). [Online].
Dovey, J., Kennedy, H.W. (2006). Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media. Maidenhead: Open University press.
Huizinga, J. (1955). Homo Ludens: A Study Of The Play-Element In Culture. Boston: Beacon Press.
Juul, J. (2005). Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Konzack, Lars. (2002). Computer game criticism: A method for computer game analysis. Proceedings of the Computer Games and Digital Culture conference, Tampere, Finland, 2002.
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