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The Field of Dreams Approach: On Writing About Video Games

GO: I go to these academic conferences where a similar conversation is happening among professors who write in the field of gaming studies. Some bring in literary and film theory, and try to lay that on top of video games, while others reject that. The tools and the language are already there from other fields, so it seems easy. On the other hand, it can be kind of reductive, and perhaps prevents you from having the more meaningful conversation.

TT: Right, or even just the conversation you’re trying to have. There are also those efforts to create a language around game studies, partly I think try to legitimatize it in the eyes of the academy. You get people going on about the Ludologists versus the Narratologists, about ludonarrative dissonance, copping these quasi-academic terms. I can see the point of systematizing things, but my favorite criticism helps you not to just describe and understand, but to enjoy stuff more.

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