1st Edition

Games as Texts A Practical Application of Textual Analysis to Games

By Alayna M. Cole, Dakoda Barker Copyright 2021
    138 Pages
    by CRC Press

    138 Pages
    by CRC Press


    Games as Texts provides an overview and practical steps for analysing games in terms of their representations of social structures, class, power, race, sexuality, gender, animals, nature, and ability. Each chapter applies a traditional literary theory to the narrative and mechanics of games and explores the social commentary the games encourage. This approach demonstrates to players, researchers, games media, and non-gamers how they can engage with these cultural artefacts through both critical reading and theoretical interpretations.

    Key Features:

    • Explores games through various literary and theoretical lenses
    • Provides exemplar analysis and guiding questions to help readers think critically about games
    • Highlights the social commentary that all texts can reveal—including games—and how this impacts narrative and mechanics

    Acknowledgements. Introduction. Chapter 1 Games and Universal Truths. Chapter 2 Games and Structure. Chapter 3 Games and Class. Chapter 4 Games and Women. Chapter 5 Games and Queerness. Chapter 6 Games and Race. Chapter 7 Games and Chronic Health Conditions. Chapter 8 Games and the Environment. Intersectionality. Games Cited. References. Index.


    Dr Alayna Cole is the managing director of Queerly Represent Me, a not-for-profit championing queer and intersectional representation in the games industry. Alayna is also a producer at Sledgehammer Games, co-chair of the IGDA LGBTQ+ SIG special interest group, and is an award-winning games journalist and game developer. She co-authored Cooperative Gaming: Diversity in the Games Industry and How to Cultivate Inclusion (2020) and wrote a chapter about diversity and games for The Digital Gaming Handbook (2020).

    Dr Dakoda Barker is a director and consultant for the not-for-profit, Queerly Represent Me. He is also the treasurer for the IGDA LGBTQ+ SIG, a special interest group that is being run by the Queerly Represent Me leadership team for the thousands of IGDA members worldwide. Dakoda has lectured in game design, narrative design, game analysis, and game-based learning at RMIT University and the University of the Sunshine Coast and is an expert in these fields. He has worked on several games as a designer, writer, and consultant, and has won awards for his work, including the Freeplay Independent Games Festival micro-game award for Rise. He specializes in the areas of chronic health conditions and Aboriginal Australias and also works as a freelance writer and editor.