March 1, 2005

Aarseth and Jenkins on Games

by Nick Montfort · , 4:59 pm

Espen and Henry at HUMlab I guess I should call it “Aarseth vs. Jenkins.” Henry Jenkins and Espen Aarseth recently debated game studies (streaming Real video), although I’d say it was somewhere in between a debate and a love fest – a good discussion, certainly. This was hosted at the HUMlab (Umeå University, Sweden) back on January 18. I’m a bit late in noting this, but it’s well worth watching this soon, in case link rot and the cost of streaming video hosting cause the video to drop offline. The topics range from the relationship between story and game to the relationship between developers and academics, with discussion of the institutional situation of game studies programs as well. Henry has some great comments about spatial story and the relationship of games to other narrative-evoking environments; Espen’s discussion of the need for a diversity of approaches – not just “narratology” and “ludology” – is also quite good to hear. Espen even explains how game studies should take literary studies as a model! You’ll have to watch the video yourself to find out what the context is for this suggestion – it’s about 49 minutes in.