Heart of a gamer: a study of videogame fandom

Pook, Alex (2015) Heart of a gamer: a study of videogame fandom. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    As videogame design courses proliferate in educational institutions across the country, videogame scholarship has finally begun to gain traction in the academy. Videogames are still behind other forms of popular culture such as film, television and music when it comes to mainstream acceptance however. This situation is changing and as gamers come of age and move into the arenas of academia, media and politics, they are working to legitimise videogames as a discipline, art form and industry.
    All videogame scholars possess the social label of 'gamer', but they also come from a wide range of institutional and theoretical backgrounds. Just as games themselves appeal to a wide audience, so should game scholarship invite an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach.
    My thesis is that videogame fandom is substantially more democratic than fandoms that orbit other visual media, and is based on a dialogue of reciprocity between fans and producers, rather than the traditional paradigm of powerful producer and disempowered fan. Evidence for this thesis will come from an analysis of the annual videogame convention Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), looking at how it operates as a fan space. I will then move on to an examination of modding culture and the paratextual economy of videogame fandom, before critiquing the videogame industry's current preoccupation with remakes and remasters. My study will conclude with an in-depth analysis of the controversial conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy and what happens when the relationship between fans and producers breaks down.
    I believe that in this study I have demonstrated how one might analyse, and yield insight from, the application of fan studies to videogame culture, whilst simultaneously shining a light on an under-researched but fascinating and important area.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2017 09:42
    Last Modified: 09 Jan 2017 09:42
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22739

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