Digital Role-Playing Games as Artefacts of Media Culture

Jana Radošinská

Abstract


Cultural significance of digital role-playing games is associated with dynamic emergence of communication technologies,
media entertainment and new – digital – forms of cultural production. However, computer (digital) role-playing games (also
called cRPGs) are, mainly in case of scholarly analyses and existing theoretical concepts, often compared to other, mostly live
forms of role-playing. The academic reflections on undeniable differences between various types of role-playing tend to
suggest that computer role-playing, even though it is a (financially as well as culturally) significant part of the digital games
industry, is just a less diverse form of role-play that lacks both formal variety and content ingenuity and thus cannot be used as
a tool for socialisation, education or therapy. The article, however, works with a basic assumption that the relationship between
contemporary subcultures (or rather taste cultures and lifestyles), entertainment forms, computer role-playing games and the
everyday lives of media audiences includes a complex set of aspects and specific features which are socially significant and
rich in both form and content. The author focuses on defining digital role-playing games in relation with industrially produced
culture, which is disseminated by the media, and argues that they are able to function not only as commercially efficient media
products but also as valuable cultural artefacts. The main goal of the text is to offer complex theoretical outlines related to
understanding computer role-playing and its cultural significance.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n2p368


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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