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What Is a Videogame Movie?

Department of English/Graduate Program in Literature & Criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA 15705, USA
Academic Editor: Christian Thomas
Arts 2021, 10(2), 24;
Received: 1 December 2020 / Revised: 5 February 2021 / Accepted: 25 March 2021 / Published: 12 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Art of Adaptation in Film and Video Games)
Cinematic adaptations of videogames are an increasingly common feature of film culture, and the adaptive relationship between these mediums is an increasingly common subject of film and videogame studies. However, our ability to historicize and theorize that relationship is hampered by a failure to fully define the generic character of our object of study. This essay asks, what is a videogame movie? It argues that film scholars (1) have not considered the full range of ways videogames have been represented in film; (2) have not attended fully to the historical, technological, figurative, and social dimensions of videogames; and therefore (3) have limited the set of possible texts that comprise the genre “videogame cinema.” The essay recommends a tropological approach to the problem, defining six tropes that comprise the “videogame movie” as a genre, and applying them to two films, Her and 1917, neither of them a direct adaptation of a videogame, the latter not “about” or referencing videogames in any way, yet both exemplary of a broadened concept of “videogame cinema”. View Full-Text
Keywords: videogames; film; adaptation; genre; tropes; methodology videogames; film; adaptation; genre; tropes; methodology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sell, M. What Is a Videogame Movie? Arts 2021, 10, 24.

AMA Style

Sell M. What Is a Videogame Movie? Arts. 2021; 10(2):24.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sell, Mike. 2021. "What Is a Videogame Movie?" Arts 10, no. 2: 24.

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