39. Digital Games and the American Gothic: Investigating Gothic Game Grammar

  1. Charles L. Crow
  1. Tanya Krzywinska

Published Online: 13 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch39

A Companion to American Gothic

A Companion to American Gothic

How to Cite

Krzywinska, T. (2013) Digital Games and the American Gothic: Investigating Gothic Game Grammar, in A Companion to American Gothic (ed C. L. Crow), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118608395.ch39

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 SEP 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 NOV 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470671870

Online ISBN: 9781118608395

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Keywords:

  • Digital Games;
  • Survival Horror;
  • popular culture;
  • technology;
  • HP Lovecraft;
  • Edgar Allan Poe;
  • Stephen King;
  • Conspiracy theory;
  • Chaos Theory;
  • Myth

Summary

This essay shows that the American Gothic has a powerful presence in digital games and that it has become a part of contemporary game grammar. There is a close investigation into the ways in which the formal, participatory characteristics of games shape the ways in which the American Gothic appears. Close textual analysis is made of Alan Wake and The Secret World. In addition to analysis of their ludic dimensions, principle themes, inter-textual borrowing and their means of delivering story, there is consideration of the way that these games produce certain styles of Gothic reading: in the case of The Secret World, a conspiracy-style hermeneutic. The essay demonstrates that within digital games the American Gothic is defined by the use of textual tropes such as setting and theme rather than in terms of national authorship. It concludes that games are shaping the American Gothic into new forms and provide new ways of engaging with it.