Why Literature Critics should attack Video Games

Games narratives are the next step in storytelling, and the emphasis, as with so much these days, is upon the consumer-product relationship and the different ways in which the consumer/player affects the product/game/story being told. It may come to our realisation too late that studying the way these narratives are being created and the affect that they can have may actually be beneficial to our society.

Perhaps our problem is that the genius behind them isn’t a single (white middle-class western) man, it’s a group working together, communicating, developing, creating. This collaboration behind the creation is the very reason I think a study of it would be beneficial – it is possible to collaborate and create in a meaningful way in the current technological and socio-economic quicksand we’ve gotten ourselves stuck in. Even fans contribute; with fanon, through kickstarters and advertisement, etc.

This productive social activity being exhibited in the video games industry (and indeed the content creator arena that naturally follows on) is an important thing to grasp, understand and replicate. It could be exactly what ecocritics are looking for, it could be exactly where we need to head, and I think that literature critics could help a lot by actually paying attention to the new narrative forms that we are seeing, instead of dismissing them into the realms of IT,  New Media, and consumerism.

 

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