Making Sense of Genre: The Logic of Video Game Genre Organization

Juan J. Vargas-Iglesias
  • Games and Culture, February 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1555412017751803

Making sense of genre: The logic of video game genre organization

What is it about?

This is a proposal for a semiotic model by which to analyse video game genres, that could help understand these according to their key particles: thought functions and their possible mutual relations.

Why is it important?

This approach aims to put an end to a classic controversy about the convenience of understanding video game genres either by means of systems used to classify existent genres or through the analysis of elemental factors regarding rules and mechanics. To this end, it shifts the focus to the middle ground of functions and their logical dimension. By doing so, it intends to create a semiotic concept which would be useful for cultural studies, media studies and game design.


Juan J. Vargas-Iglesias
Universidad de Sevilla

The distinction of four elementary functions in terms of their compatibility or incompatibility with one another has proven to be useful for setting at least three degrees of complexity in the construction of the known genres.

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