Video Game Framings

Abstract (in English): 

In a short oral presentation I will (1) give a rough survey of alleged (potential) elements of a video game’s paratext (epi- and peritext) by screening and commenting on exemplary, mainly digital, audio-visual media.
Based on such illustrative material, (2) I will turn to the question of whether these examples actually are elements of a video game’s paratext. Elaborating on some thoughts developed in my forthcoming chapter on “Video Game Framings” I argue that as long as we do not have a clear definition of the term ‘paratext’ it is impossible to answer this question – to use a catchy phrase: no verification without definition.
Since the term ‘paratext’ was introduced to the debate by literary theorist Gérard Genette, (3)
his definitional stipulations – posing the (alleged) point of reference for everyone actually
using the term ‘paratext’ – are reconstructed in outline.
After these meta-terminological elucidations, (4) I will briefly touch upon the questionable use of ‘paratext’ in recent media and video game studies. As critical examination reveals, the terminology in this field of research is rather vaguely connected to, and sometimes even completely detached from, Genette’s definition.
As an objection and a constructive alternative to such blurry redefinitions, (5) I will present my own explicative definition of ‘paratext’ (with regard to video games). Additionally, I propose supplementing the term as an analytical tool with the higher-order umbrella term ‘framings’.
Leading over to discussion, I will then (6) indicate – at least tentatively – whether or not the selected audio-visual elements presented earlier could/should be labeled as elements of a video game’s paratext.

(Source: Author's Abstract)

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Alvaro Seica