Towards a New Genre of Video Game Play

By Drew Morton , David O’Grady and Jennifer Porst

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In, "Towards a New Genre of Video Game Play," Jennifer Porst, David O’Grady, and Drew Morton explore the body at play in relationship to new interfaces of video game consoles that offer digital agency beyond the click or the thumb and the experiences they offer—what the authors dub as “gestural play”—from industrial, theoretical, and generic perspectives. In the essay's first section, Porst analyzes the recent home video game console war to explicate the success of the Nintendo Wii and its different positioning in the marketplace from the X-Box 360 and Playstation 3. In part two, O'Grady provides a phenomenological examination of the Wiimote interface in a case study of Wii Tennis, arguing that gestural play enriches the dialectic between body and screen. Finally, Morton concludes with a generic and historical analysis of video game interfaces that suggests the use of the body in digital play has at last become more than a passing fad; gestural play is becoming as a new genre of video gaming and a productive mode of video game analysis.

Author bios:

Drew Morton is a Ph.D. student in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA.  He has written about film and television for such publications at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, UWM Post, and Flow.  He is currently researching the aesthetic convergence between comics and film.

David O’Grady is a PhD student in the Cinema and Media Studies program at UCLA. He has written about film for various publications, including Nylon and The Noe Valley Voice.

Jennifer Porst is a PhD student in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA. Her research interests include television, digital media, contemporary American film, French film, and comedy.