Butter Archive #13: Are Video Games Literature?

So this week we’ve been looking at video games and other interactive fictions, and it’s a topic that I think is really fascinating and interesting… so much so that I made a video essay about it! I made this last year in response to the Digital Literature course I took in 3rd year, and I thought that because it touches on a lot of the conversations we’ve been having it’d be worth sharing! Hope you enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!


2 thoughts on “Butter Archive #13: Are Video Games Literature?

  1. Ariel! I am so stoked about this. I like the conclusion you came to. I’m 100% in agreement. I love the idea of just letting video games be their own thing. The question of authorship is so interesting, too — I definitely agree, and the whole idea of a single author being somehow important and more literary is so strange.

    I was just thinking about To Be Or Not To Be for example, which is available as both a book and as a video game and has more or less the same text in each. I’ve always vaguely thought of the book as being literature but the game as being … a game, but now I’m kind of wondering how much sense that makes. Maybe it makes a lot of sense! The form really does matter, and I feel like you’d have a different experience playing/reading it in either medium.

    (Animal Crossing, though! Such a good game.)


  2. Fun video, Ariel! you covered a ton in 11 minutes. I thought your comments about authorship were really interesting. Made me think of films–really great films we tend to credit to the director as auteur, even though made by lots and lots of people.


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