The Interplay of Thematic and Ludological Elements in Western-Themed Games

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

  • University of the Arts Helsinki

Abstract

The Wild West has been productized and remediated a number of times over the last hundred of years – and even earlier than that. Computer and video games are a relative newcomer in this string of remediations, distilling the essential elements of the Western even further into archetypal scenes, characters and modes of play. Expanding on our previous works on genres, we study a colorful selection of Western-themed games, 31 in total, with the aim to reveal how a firmly established and codified theme affects gameplay. A well-established theme, such as the Western, manifests itself at very different depths based on the kind of game we are dealing with – at minimum, it acts as an artificial surface that does not affect the gameplay at all. At the other end of the spectrum, the theme affects all the aspects of a game, ranging from its audiovisual presentation to the narrative and the actions available to the player.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-73
Number of pages34
JournalKinephanos
Issue numberspecial issue May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Western, game genres, video games, thematization

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