Game-comics and comic-games

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The concept of hybrids is widely used in cultural studies and media theory. Cultural products at the intersection of digital games and comic books sometimes show distinct traits of both “conventionally considered distinct” media (Rajewsky 2005) and have consequentially been conceptualized in the definitive work on the subject (Goodbrey 2017) as a hybrid form. Continuing previous work (Backe 2012), this chapter critiques the application of hybridity in this context. Both digital games and comics are most commonly defined by following (even if implicitly) prototype theory. These definitions do not assume criteria that are necessary and sufficient but instead rely on family resemblances. This makes them unusable for conceptual hybridization, which presupposes clearly defined traits. Drawing on principles of knowledge organization and providing an overview of complex examples, this chapter argues that the intersection of digital games and comics is too incongruent to be approached as a coherent cultural phenomenon, and that there is little to be gained for analyses of particular examples by defining them a priori as hybrids.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComics and Videogames : From Hybrid Medialities to Transmedia Expansions
EditorsRauscher Andreas, Stein Daniel, Thon Jan-Noël
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)9781003035466
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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