Alexis Blanchet (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3), Rilla Khaled (Concordia University), Henry E. Lowood (Stanford University), James Newman (Bath Spa University), Jaakko Suominen (University of Turku) and Gabrielle Trépanier-Jobin (Université du Québec à Montréal).
Whether we talk about literature, music, cinema or other forms of art, criticism and theory have always progressed hand in hand. Through description, classification, and evaluation, critical discourses have offered material to theoretical analysis which, in return, deepened, questioned and methodized their practice. Much academic attention in game studies has been paid to these discourses, attesting the influence of reviews on the development of video game culture, the designation of landmark video games and the definition of criteria to evaluate their quality. And yet, a full-scale comprehensive study of the discourse paradigms which regulate this practice remains to be conducted.
This research project will analyze the variety and evolution of video game criticism across print, online and broadcast media to further our understanding of the video game as a technological and artistic medium, tracking the reception of video games from the late 1970s to the present. It will focus on four geographical areas: Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. It will cover four axes of research: criticism and technology, criticism and art, the forms of criticism, and criticism and the industry. The results will lead to an increased understanding of the journalistic discourse community’s impact on the processes of legitimization of video games and shaping of video game culture. It will also contribute to the preservation of an important part of video game history.
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