HomeBook and Videogame

Book and Videogame

Livre et jeu vidéo

Studies in Book Culture

Revue Mémoires du livre

*  *  *

Published on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Élodie Faath

Summary

If the links between video games and movies have generated interest amongst members of the academic milieu for some time now, the relationships, exchanges and boundaries themselves between the book and the video game constitute a field of research that remains relatively fallow. Nevertheless, the interactions between these two media are far from being exceptions, and the disciplines that focus on them (game studies and the history of the book) share a certain methodological affinity: both have a profoundly interdisciplinary basis; both assemble researchers stemming from very different horizons around a common goal. This kinship, combined with the abundance of continual exchanges between book and video game, prompted the idea to devote this issue to encounters between videogames and their adjacent books.

Announcement

Call for Papers Volume 5, Number 2, Spring 2014 “Book and Videogame” under the direction of Fanny Barnabé and Björn-Olav Dozo, Université de Liège

Argument

If the links between video games and movies have generated interest amongst members of the academic milieu for some time now, (see Alexis Blanchet[1] among many others) the relationships, exchanges and boundaries themselves between the book and the video game constitute a field of research that remains relatively fallow. Nevertheless, the interactions between these two media are far from being exceptions, and the disciplines that focus on them (game studies and the history of the book) share a certain methodological affinity: both have a profoundly interdisciplinary basis; both assemble researchers stemming from very different horizons around a common goal. This kinship, combined with the abundance of continual exchanges between book and video game, prompted the idea to devote this issue to encounters between videogames and their adjacent books.

Submissions for this issue could fall into, but are not restricted to, one of the following three categories:

  • The book as support for or extension of the videogame experience

Since its conception, the video game has used the book-object as a technical, narrative or play-related accessory. First, the book becomes a technical accessory when it offsets the weakness of the system: thus, when, in the past, computers were not powerful enough on their own to run games featuring the representation of a fictional universe, an explanatory book was provided with the game to describe the universe in question and contextualise the player’s action. Second, the book becomes a narrative accessory because these same indicators served, at all times, to transmit complementary information concerning the stories elaborated in the games (the history of the featured characters, the history of the countries visited, etc.). And finally, the book becomes a gameplay accessory because the book can also be used as support itself for the game. Such is the case with the recent Wonderbook, a peripheral intended for Playstation 3 that takes the form of a book and permits action on the virtual universe according to the principle of augmented reality. In this latter case, the book is thus the support for a revival of the gameplay.

  • Adaptation of video games into books or game books

These days, the boundaries between media are more permeable than ever before: the book and the video game are no exceptions. On the contrary, the transfer of fictional content between the two media is quite frequent, whether it be video game adaptations of literary works (such as J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, Dante’s The Divine Comedy, Marguerite Duras’ Moderato Cantabile, etc.) or, in the reverse direction, the transformation into novels of games such as World of Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed, Starcraft, Halo, etc. This second line of questioning also addresses the fanfiction phenomenon, literary texts written by fans based on pre-existing fictional universes (on this subject, see the work of Henry Jenkins).

  • Representations of the book and the text within videogames

If the book can extend the game experience beyond the virtual framework, it is also often represented within the games themselves. As a general rule, the text has played a key role in videogames since the first adventure games (such as Colossal Cave Adventure, 1975), games that were exclusively composed of text and situated halfway between the game and the digital literature (the entire décor and events were described, and the “player” was only able to interact with the program by entering simple words or phrases: “go west,” “take key,” etc. as single commands). Even today, books continue to be used as an important source of knowledge in the videogame universe.  One need only think of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2012) in which the player can collect a series of books containing complementary information on the narrative framework of the game or on certain gameplay principles. Finally, in the world of videogames, the representation itself of the book-object seems to transmit on its own a certain imaginative aura: the book is frequently depicted as a precious artefact, sacred, the keeper of magic, etc. This third line of enquiry is open as well to case studies: “books in which you are the hero” that, in contrast to those mentioned above, reproduce the game mechanisms within the text.

Submission guidelines

Article proposals of approximately 300 words (or 2000 characters, including spaces) excluding bibliography, should be sent

by June 1, 2013

to the following two email addresses: bo.dozo@ulg.ac.be and fanny.barnabe@student.ulg.ac.be 

The editing committee will evaluate the proposals and respond by June 15, 2013.

Proposed articles that have been accepted are to be submitted by September 15, 2013.

They will then be reviewed anonymously by the reading committee who will render an opinion.

Final versions of accepted articles are to be sent by November 15, 2013.

Publication of this issue is expected to take place in spring, 2014.

[1] Notably Blanchet (Alexis), Des pixels à Hollywood : Cinéma et jeu vidéo, une histoire économique et culturelle. Châtillon, Pix'N Love Editions, 2010 ; Blanchet (Alexis), Les jeux vidéo au cinéma. Paris, Armand Colin, 2012.

Date(s)

  • Saturday, June 01, 2013

Attached files

Keywords

  • jeu vidéo, histoire du livre, game studies, novellisation

Contact(s)

  • Björn-Olav Dozo
    courriel : BO [dot] Dozo [at] ulg [dot] ac [dot] be
  • Fanny Barnabé
    courriel : fanny [dot] barnabe [at] ulg [dot] ac [dot] be

Information source

  • Fanny Barnabé
    courriel : fanny [dot] barnabe [at] ulg [dot] ac [dot] be

To cite this announcement

« Book and Videogame », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, https://calenda.org/249035

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal