IIPC Debate 120 MOVED TO 24 April, 2-4 pm (seminar room Arcanum A112, University of Turku)
Defining game genres: The perspective of cultural sociology
Assistant Professor Stanisław Krawczyk (University of Wrocław)
What is genre? Not any particular genre (RTS, campaign board game, horror table-top RPG, etc.), but genre itself? This is a key question to ask when we talk about game genres, and it is not asked often enough. In game studies and elsewhere, the most common assumption is that genres are sets of games. This approach – usually taken implicitly – may be called structural, as it emphasizes the structure of games themselves. One could also adopt a discursive approach, which treats genres solely as game labels, or parts of the discourse about games. In my talk, however, I will focus on a third option: a sociocultural approach, which defines genre as a set of games classified together by a social group (or groups). I will discuss the pros and cons of all three approaches and propose that we start using the sociocultural one more. I will also show how the latter approach is grounded in a more general theoretical tradition of cultural sociology.
Stanisław Krawczyk works as assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Wrocław. He is interested in science fiction studies, higher education studies, and the sociology of literature. As a game researcher, he is currently working on a cultural sociological approach to the history of the Witcher works and on the role of the English language in game studies in Poland.
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