2016/06/27

“Footage Not Representative”: Redefining Paratextuality for the Analysis of Official Communication in the Video Game Industry

The edited volume Contemporary Research on Intertextuality in Video Games was just published by IGI Global. Among the chapters which cover various transtextual and intertextual relationships, there is also my proposed update of the Genettian paratextual framework in the context of video game industry - Footage Not Representative”: Redefining Paratextuality for the Analysis of Official Communication in the Video Game Industry.

In the chapter, I provide a critique of the current typology of texts based on relationships of so-called textual transcendence. I argue that the term paratext is reductive because it simplifies the complex relationships and connections between texts and socio-historical realities - paratexts often feature different types of textual relatioships and they should be seen as texts in their own right, not just as subordinate promotional materials. Thus, I propose a more nuanced inquiry into paratextuality that examines the consitituents of paratextual relationships (redefined as links or connections between a text and the socio-historical reality) without labeling whole parts of textual systems as paratexts. Apart from the redefinition, the chapter includes four case studies of video game paratextuality: trailers for Mass Effect Andromeda, infographics of Evolve, website presentation of the Borderlands series and patch notes for Destiny.  

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