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Games are not Convergence: The Lost Promise of Digital Production and Convergence

Convergence Journal Cover

Convergence Journal Cover

Abstract:
This article critically examines the notion of “convergence” as it applies to videogames and videogame development. Drawing on data from more than five years of ethnographic fieldwork amongst “AAA” videogame development studios, the specific case of Spider-Man 3‘s development is used as a lens for understanding the complexity of modern media production practice. This case sheds light on our understandings of cross-media development practice and the labor involved in the effect of media “flow” from platform to platform. Actor-Network Theory serves as a guiding analytic framework for understanding how videogame production in this context, given the sheer number of actors, has sig- nificant implications for the kinds of cross-media products created and the labor involved in bringing these projects to fruition.

Get It:
Sage Publications

Citation:
O’Donnell, C. (2011). Games are not Convergence: The Lost Promise of Digital Production and Convergence. Convergence, 17(3), 271-286.

About Casey O'Donnell

Casey O'Donnell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University. His research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. His research examines issues of work, production, copyright, as well as third world and postcolonial aspects of the videogame development workplace. Casey is also an active game developer, releasing his first independent game, "Osy," in February of 2011.

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