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Video Games and literature: mirrored representations

PhD. Thesis

Defended in September 2019 at Paris-Est University and directed by Mme Irène Langlet, my PhD thesis explores the relations between litera and video games. I use mirrored intermedial representations to make conjectures on how media cultures work. Among the theories upon which this study expands, Henry Jenkins’s idea of convergence culture, Marie-Laure Ryan’s understanding of narrativity, and Werner Wolf’s take on intermediality are the three major sources of inspiration. The main part of my work is based on the close-reading of 13 novels and 7 video games franchises, but this corpus was created by experimenting with distant reading. The first part is dedicated to explaining this method as well as the tools and concepts I used throughout my thesis. The remaining parts focus on a different cultural logic. First, examining genres and stereotypes allows to see that the interactions between the gaming culture and the literary one are not the most frequent scenario. Then, I continue to challenge the idea of convergence culture by showing that each media culture has its own identity and most of the exchanges between them lead to a further differentiation. Finally, I study points of contacts between the two media, i.e. transmedia networks and hybridation.

The thesis can be found here.

Corpus

Novels

Video Games