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Slow play strategy: digital games walkthroughs and the perpetual upgrade economy

Slow play strategy: digital games walkthroughs and the perpetual upgrade economy
Slow play strategy: digital games walkthroughs and the perpetual upgrade economy
Drawing on notions of obsolescence, redundancy and supersession, this paper examines the perpetual upgrade economy of digital games with reference to the archiving of gameplay in player-produced “walkthrough” texts. In concentrating on these largely overlooked documents, we draw attention to a variety of disruptive and resistant practices that exploit, explore, dissect, and above all, linger on the “old games” that videogame advertisers and marketers would perhaps rather see resigned to the bargain bucket or the back of the cupboard.

It has become something of a cliché to talk of “disruptive” fan practices yet we feel there is merit in aggrandising the production of walkthroughs in this manner. Walkthroughs present and promote unexpected and, indeed, unintended, ways of engaging with digital games that question where game expertise lies, the forms of authority and governance that exist, and above all the flexibility and mutability of games as systems open to investigation, informal customisation and reinvention through often self-consciously exploratory (re)play. Further, in pausing and focusing on specific (areas of) games in detail, even interrogating their malfunctions through glitch- and bug-hunting, walkthroughs might be seen to arrest the otherwise relentless flow of completion and discarding as they encourage the development of new ways of playing (and reasons to play) old games. It is our assertion that player-produced walkthrough texts are essentially documents that codify and archive a slow media approach to gameplay and gaming culture
1444-3775
Ashton, Daniel
b267eae4-7bdb-4fe3-9267-5ebad36e86f7
Newman, James
5d212c0c-45cd-4d94-b6ca-4d74c74cc3e2
Ashton, Daniel
b267eae4-7bdb-4fe3-9267-5ebad36e86f7
Newman, James
5d212c0c-45cd-4d94-b6ca-4d74c74cc3e2

Ashton, Daniel and Newman, James (2011) Slow play strategy: digital games walkthroughs and the perpetual upgrade economy. Transformations, 20.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Drawing on notions of obsolescence, redundancy and supersession, this paper examines the perpetual upgrade economy of digital games with reference to the archiving of gameplay in player-produced “walkthrough” texts. In concentrating on these largely overlooked documents, we draw attention to a variety of disruptive and resistant practices that exploit, explore, dissect, and above all, linger on the “old games” that videogame advertisers and marketers would perhaps rather see resigned to the bargain bucket or the back of the cupboard.

It has become something of a cliché to talk of “disruptive” fan practices yet we feel there is merit in aggrandising the production of walkthroughs in this manner. Walkthroughs present and promote unexpected and, indeed, unintended, ways of engaging with digital games that question where game expertise lies, the forms of authority and governance that exist, and above all the flexibility and mutability of games as systems open to investigation, informal customisation and reinvention through often self-consciously exploratory (re)play. Further, in pausing and focusing on specific (areas of) games in detail, even interrogating their malfunctions through glitch- and bug-hunting, walkthroughs might be seen to arrest the otherwise relentless flow of completion and discarding as they encourage the development of new ways of playing (and reasons to play) old games. It is our assertion that player-produced walkthrough texts are essentially documents that codify and archive a slow media approach to gameplay and gaming culture

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More information

Published date: 2011
Organisations: Winchester School of Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 382761
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382761
ISSN: 1444-3775
PURE UUID: 173abf88-be92-46be-85f1-196822c9cc89
ORCID for Daniel Ashton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3120-1783

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Date deposited: 12 Oct 2015 09:07
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:21

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Contributors

Author: Daniel Ashton ORCID iD
Author: James Newman

University divisions

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