Categories
Articles (non-refereed)

Wicked Games, Part II: Blood, Sex, and Pixels

Citation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas and Peter Alilunas. “Wicked Games, Part II: Blood, Sex, and Pixels.” Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture 22.4 (February 2016). Solicited for inclusion.

Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Parody as Brand: The Case of [adult swim]’s Paracasual Advergames”

Citation:

Gurney, David & Matthew Thomas Payne. “Parody as Brand: The Case of [adult swim]’s Paracasual Advergames.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 2014.

Abstract:

Advergames – a neologism for video games designed to advertise a product or service – are marketing devices employed to impact consumers’ purchasing decisions and, more frequently, shape their impressions of a promoted brand. The online advergames of the programming block-turned-media brand [adult swim] present a clear case in which the games act as rich signifiers of brand aesthetics even if they are not directly connected to the content of the brand’s TV shows, live events, and other assorted merchandise. Although these “casual”-style titles have gameplay mechanics that are accessible to broad audiences, these advergames often exhibit a critical stance toward other games, which differentiates them from the vast majority of casual games on the market. But rather than being anti-casual, we argue that these games are best understood as being paracasual because they use parody to both trouble prevailing definitions of casual games and advergames, and deploy an aesthetic disposition that further helps define the brand. Furthermore, they are an increasingly visible and vital component of a constellation of texts and practices that function as what James Paul Gee calls an “affinity space” for a lucrative audience demographic. This article assesses how [adult swim] games use parody to deconstruct textually video gaming’s most popular genres, and how such parodic deconstruction, as evidenced by players’ online discussions, serves as an affinity space for a media-savvy taste culture.

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Other essays

“Wound Raider: Authorizing Trauma in Lara Croft’s Origin Story”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. & Derek Frank. “Wound Raider: Authorizing Trauma in Lara Croft’s Origin Story.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 13 March 2013.

Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Marketing Military Realism in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. “Marketing Military Realism in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,”Games & Culture 7.4 (July 2012): 305-327.

Abstract:

This essay investigates the challenges that video game marketing encounters when selling the pleasures of playing virtual war. While marketing paratexts are crucial to video games because of the vagaries of their industry, they are especially important for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, as it is the first of the franchise to be set in the 21st century and immerse players in contemporary theaters of war. These marketing paratexts not only generate hype for the game and work to drive sales, but as importantly, they also suggest particular textual readings over others with the goal of insulating Call of Duty’s virtual war play from interpretations and criticisms that might link the violent play on-screen to the worldly violence unfolding in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Categories
Other essays

“Advergaming and Niche Branding”

Gurney, David & Payne, Matthew T. “Advergaming and Niche Branding.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 18 August 2011.

Categories
Other essays

“Video Game Wii-ealism”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. “Video Game Wii-ealism.” In Media Res: a Media Commons Project. 19 July 2007.