The Games Institute presents the next of a series of "Brown Bag Seminars" on October 16th 2018. The GI is located in EC-1, and these events are open to all members of the University of Waterloo.
Presenter: Lindsay Meaning, English PhD candidate
Video Games as Adaptation: A Methodological Approach
Abstract: The field of adaptation studies is still a growing one, with recent scholarly work (Hutcheon 2013, Stam 2005), broadening our understandings of what adaptations are, and what it means to study them. However, as of yet there have been comparatively few scholars examining games as adaptations. This can, perhaps, be attributed to the fact that game adaptations of existing works are frequently written off as creatively and technologically bankrupt attempts to cash in on popular film franchises. Of course, the tendency for films to be adapted to games, and vice versa, is a logical one, since both are generally quite visual mediums. It is, then, perhaps a natural consequence of the adaptation ecosystem that what adaptation research there is focuses almost exclusively on the relationship between game and film (Papazian & Sommers, 2013). However, these are not the only adaptations that exist, with many games drawing not only inspiration but also worlds, characters, and narratives form diverse media - including literature. In this talk, I will give an overview of my recent work studying game adaptations of popular novels. I focus my exploration on three specific games, adaptations of two different authors: Secret Games Company’s 2016 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, and two popular adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, Lord of the Rings Online and Shadow of Mordor. In each of these analyses, I look at the thematic or ideological concerns of the literary text involved – whether the imperialist leanings of Kipling, or Tolkien’s attitude to violence as heroism – and explore the ways in which the translation to game emphasizes, sidelines, or even inverts them.
Date: Tuesday, October 16th, 2018
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: The Games Institute, EC1, Room 1331 (The Collaboration Space)
1:00 - 1:45am – Speaker's Presentation
1:45am - 2:00pm – Questions and Discussion
Lindsay Meaning is a PhD candidate in the department of English. Her research interests include representations and reproductions of structural violence in video games, as well as 19th century women's writing.