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Videogame Formalism: On Form, Aesthetic Experience and Methodology

by Alex Mitchell and Jasper Van Vught

Amsterdam University Press, 2024

ISBNs

Cloth: 978-94-6372-066-3

eISBN: 978-90-485-5423-2

About the Book
Formalism is often used as an all-embracing term covering a range of ontological and methodological approaches in game studies, with little connection to the history or tradition of the approach in other fields. This dilutes the usefulness of the approach, and invites (often unfounded) criticism. Videogame Formalism addresses these issues through an exploration of the historical and theoretical roots of formalist approaches to videogame analysis, situating this approach within games studies, and arguing for its importance and applicability as a methodological toolkit and a theoretical framework for understanding the aesthetic experience of videogames. It presents an overview of how formalist approaches can provide insights into the ways games create aesthetic experiences through the use of poetic gameplay devices, and lays out a comprehensive yet flexible methodological framework for undertaking a formalist analysis of games. This approach is then demonstrated through a series of detailed examples and case studies.
About the Author
Alex Mitchell teaches in the Department of Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore. His research investigates defamiliarization in gameplay, motivations for replaying story-focused games, authoring tools, and collaborative storytelling. He is a founding member of the executive board of the Association for Research in Interactive Digital Narratives (ARDIN).
Jasper van Vught is assistant professor in the department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University (Netherlands). His research includes methodological challenges to studying games as texts and pedagogical challenges to teaching about them. He’s a core member of the Centre for the Study of Digital Games and Play.
Tags
Games and Play, Aesthetic Experience, Criticism, Methodology, Media Studies, Philosophy, Social Science
Open Access Information

License: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0