PhD thesis: Playing Games with Art

Felan Stephen Parker’s dissertation, “Playing Games with Art”, addresses the question «How are games being reconfigured as art, where, and by whom?». It focuses on the historical period between 2005 and 2010, and is made up of several case studies, including the highly public debate precipitated by popular film critic Roger Ebert’s derisive comments about games as art; the cultural reception and canonization of blockbuster “prestige games” that pursue artistic status within the boundaries of the commercial industry, such as Bioshock; and at the opposite end of the spectrum, the construction of independently-produced “artgames” such as Passage as a gaming analogue to autobiographical indie music and comics. Each of these overlapping contexts represents a particular conception of games as legitimate art, mobilizing different elements and strategies in pursuit of cultural and material capital, and establishing the terms and stakes for more recent developments.

Read the full dissertation at http://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/xmlui/handle/10315/28164