Category: Game studies

Digital Games as a Cultural Phenomenon: A Brief History and Current State

ABSTRACT: Digital games are one of the biggest cultural phenomenon of our time. From the first primitive devices, throught milestones of age, which inherited cultural status, to the newest technology – every part has its own meaning and proves that humans are playful creatures. But in digital games lies much greater potential, which can be used outside of the gaming industry, because games have an irredeemable place in the majority of the population. In current times we can even talk about gaming society and the author of this overview study sees his goal to process the historical development of digital games, analyse its current state and therefore this study could serve as the theoretical framework for further exploration, such as the future development of this area.

KEY WORDS: arcade games, digital games, game industry, history, portable consoles.

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Binaural and Ambisonic Sound as the Future Standard of Digital Games

ABSTRACT: The author of this study suggests an idea that the auditive element of digital games is soon going to be one of the most important factors influencing their overall success, popularity, and originality. He analyses the phenomenon of binaural and ambisonic sound, its evolution and uses in the context of modern audio-visual work, primarily focusing on games. The auditive component and its increasingly important role areanalyzed in connection with the graphic design of games, virtual reality, as well as the popularity of specific games. This paper also focuses on audio-games, the use of binaural sound (which was first used on a large scale in Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) and various hybrid digital games, which are balancing between classic games and audio-games. Argumentation is based on an assumption that binaural sound is the way to ambisonic sound, which (within the context of the immersive and interactive character of digital games) predestines the new standard and shows an entirely new way of creating and using digital games at the same time. All of this is reflected in the context of the graphic design of digital games and their future.

KEY WORDS: ambisonic sound, binaural sound, difficulty, digital games, film, graphics, sound.

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The Concept of Timelessness Applied to Advergames

ABSTRACT: Advergames have been appearing alongside digital games since the very beginning. Although they had been originally created as marketing tools, their gaming nature has made from them an important part of digital-gaming industry heritage. At the same time, advergames, which persisted over time, may represent significant advantages for the brands they promote. The aim of the study is an examination of advergames’ timelessness based on a theoretical framework and a qualitative-quantitative content analysis of advergames released across their history up to 2000, taking into account aspects of both digital games’ and advertising timelessness. Besides general popularity, archetypal character, current playability and preservation, the analysis also focuses on the advergame design and brand implementation forms.

KEY WORDS: advergames, digital games, iconicity, history, participation, preservation, timelessness.

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Portraying Historical Landmarks and Events in the Digital Game Series Assassin’s Creed

ABSTRACT: Most young people living in the world of today do not express much interest in history and historical landmarks. It is therefore quite surprising that specific digital games portraying various historical periods or their alternative, partly fictitious versions might at least raise their players’ awareness of real historical facts and sites. Some of these games have been able to achieve global popularity. The author uses the digital game series Assassin’s Creed (2007 – present day) as an example of a digital gaming environment which features historical fiction merged with real historical events and figures. The aim of the study is to better understand the ways Assassin’s Creed portrays historical landmarks all over the world and bring them closer to the players. The basic assumption is that at least some of the players, here seen as potential “gamers-tourists”, may be interested in finding out more about the depicted historical sites and their true counterparts. Given the aforementioned assumption, our ambition is to discuss the digital game series Assassin’s Creed and its tendency to offer visually attractive virtual re-creations of real historical sites, reflecting on the series’ presumed ability to depict historical landmarks, figures and events in mostly fictitious, but still interesting and eye-catching ways.

KEY WORDS: Assassin’s Creed series, gamer-tourist, gaming environments, historical accuracy of digital games, historical landmarks, hyper-realistic game renditions.

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Pathological Gambling and Co-dependence

ABSTRACT: Pathological gambling is one of the addictions that is widespread in our society, but despite its seriousness, it does not receive sufficient attention. The economic consequences of pathological gambling are comparable to other addictions, although in the overall context, their economic impact is much greater. The social consequences of pathological gambling are even greater than in case of other addictions, as pathological gamblers mostly have a family, and because of their dependence, their family often becomes dysfunctional, with all the related consequences. There exist several effective treatment approaches to treat pathological gambling, as in the case of substance dependencies. For an understanding of pathological behaviour in online games and digital games, it is also necessary to understand the development of related phenomenon – pathological gambling. The aim of this article is to briefly describe pathological gambling and co-dependence.

KEY WORDS: addiction, co-dependence, family, games, pathological gambling.

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The Infectious Aesthetic of Zombies: An Exploration of Zombie Narratives and Unit Operations of Zombies in Videogames

ABSTRACT: This document details the abstract for a study on zombie narratives and zombies as units and their translation from cinemas to interactive mediums. Focusing on modern zombie mythos and aesthetics as major influences in pop-culture; including videogames. The main goal of this study is to examine the applications of zombie units that have their narrative roots in traditional; non-ergodic media, in videogames; how they are applied, what are their patterns, and the allure of their pervasiveness.

KEY WORDS: case studies, cinema, narrative, Romero, unit operations, videogames, zombie.

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Towards a (Ludic) Resonant and Sensory Enviroment: Space, Music and Locative Gaming

ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the relationship between locative games and music, using as reference the notions of sound space, acoustic space, and soundscape. The locative game genre reflects the opposite side considering the video game format: in this case, the action leaks from screens and consoles to the urban space with the use of locative media, turning the city into support for the actions of the players. Our hypothesis argues that by using music and other sound features (sounds, effects and so on), the locative game can create a resonant sensory environment caused by music and sound signals that are impregnated in the region. As a methodology, we analysed the locative game GPS Musical Crosswords Puzzle from these concepts – sound space, acoustic space, and soundscape – to show how they can be designed from the experience of locative games.

KEY WORDS: locative games, music, place, sensorial environment, space.

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Games and Utopia

ABSTRACT: The main theme of my article is the relationship between virtual worlds of video games and the concept of utopia. I aim to present a wide variety of different definitions and theories of utopia, which seem indispensable in order to further the relationship between video game and virtual reality research and the multitude of utopian studies discourses. The thesis starts with a short recollection of Alexander Galloway’s thesis on video games and utopias from his article on World of Warcraft which I am trying to supplement with some of the most interesting contemporary utopian studies research. The core of the article focuses on sketching an alternative proposal which includes a variety of definitions of utopia and utopianism. My aim is to introduce precise and useful notions which could be further utilized in game analysis and game research.

KEY WORDS: digital games, game studies, magic circle, utopia, utopian studies, utopianism, video games.

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