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Reading Video Games as Literature

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May 25, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MDT

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Session Slides

Handout: Critical Hits Background

Do video games belong in the library? I will discuss how, at my library, I am merging play and critical analysis through hosting a monthly video game club for adults in which we explore video games as audiovisual ludonarrative texts. We consider play, story, visual grammar, and aural design as they contribute to multimodal literacy. Through this lens, we see how games are situated adjacent to literature and film canon.

Using examples (Bioshock, as an exploration of the philosophies in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged; Hades, as the first video game to win a Hugo Award), we will dissect “audiovisual ludonarrativity” as a means to break down games into their base elements to gain a greater understanding of themes and messages at work in the games we play and how to discuss them academically.

About the presenter

Shayne Taylor headshotShayne Taylor is the teen programming librarian at Summit County Libraries in Breckenridge, Colorado. Inside, he enjoys video games and is a Dungeons and Dragons game master. Outside, you can find him in the mountains, white water rafting or skiing.


May 25, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MDT