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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Press Play: Video Games and the Ludic Quality of Aesthetic Experiences across Media
by Hakimi, Jedd, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2017, 255; 10831836
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines and disrupts the way key scholarly, technical, and cultural discourses distinguish video games as a medium from film by shifting critical attention to how these media are experienced during reception. This premise of this intervention is that a medium-specific outlook of video games suppresses significant dissimilarities among video games, and also overlooks video games’ lineage in relation to how other media are experienced as aesthetic expressions. This has also meant that the vast critical resources within film and media studies remains extensively underutilized within video game scholarship. Beyond noting crucial formal resonances between certain video games and films, this project enhances our understanding of both forms by critiquing the specific presumptions used to define video games in significant by powerful cultural gatekeepers including the United States Supreme Court and the Museum of Modern Art. The premises challenged include the notion that video games are all principally games, that video games have a computational materiality that warrants a distinct critical approach compared to film, that video games are designed to be interactive in way that other aesthetic forms are not, that video games provide a way of inhabiting fictional worlds that films cannot, and that video games lack a capacity to reflect our historical world back to us in manner comparable to film’s documentary capacity. The point is not to suppress distinctions between film and video games, but to understand overlooked facets common to the forms as experienced, thus better situating video games in relation to film studies.

Indexing (document details)
School: University of Pittsburgh
Department: Film and Media
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art Criticism, Communication, Film studies
Keywords: Aesthetic theory, Film studies, Games and play, Media specificity, New media, Video games
Publication Number: 10831836
ISBN: 978-0-355-88673-3
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