The Video game theory reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Video game theory

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Video game theory is the still young field of analysing video games from a social science or humanities perspective.

Although departments of Computer Science have been studying video games from a functional perspective for years, the study of them in the humanities is still in its infancy. The study is referred to as ludology by some. The term arose within the context of non-electronic games and board games in particular, but gained popularity after it was featured in an article by Gonzalo Frasca in 1999 "Ludology Meets Naratology: Similitudes and Differences Between (Video) Games and Narrative." The name, however, has not yet caught on fully. Major issues being grappled with in the field are questions of narrative and of simulation, and whether or not video games are either, neither, or both.

The bulk of existant scholarship on video games is futurist in outlook, and links it to the field of new media. One of the most important writers in this vein is Janet Murray, who's book Hamlet on the Holodeck discusses video games in the context of the Holodeck, a fictional piece of technology from Star Trek, arguing for the video game as a medium in which we get to become another person, and to act out in another world. More moderate expressions of the same idea can be found in the workds of Lev Manovich as well as in the works of Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin.

A different perspective on the medium is offered by Espen J. Aarseth in Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. He compares video games to the concept of a labyrinth, and argues that they fit into a much older tradition of narrative called ergodic literature.

External Links An online academic journal about video games Online discussion of ludology.