The semiotic conditions of videogame authorship

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


Videogames have an ambiguous status as texts, in their dual nature as objects of play and computer-mediated systems of representation. This has led to an impasse in game studies, making it difficult to identify authorial voice, to make useful distinctions in style of game design, and to account for the varieties of modes of reception.

This dissertation addresses the problem by proposing a model for the interpretation of videogames based on the semiotic theory of Charles S. Peirce. This model is the basis of a series of analyses of a range of videogames and other interactive work on the dynamics of genre, style and authorship. While most of the research involved the close play of games, using video transcriptions and tools to analyze game footage, it also relies on interviews with game creators, industry reports, and discussions with game players in both North America and Japan.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of California, San Diego
Place of PublicationLa Jolla, CA
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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