Starting at “Start”: An Exploration of the Nondiegetic in Soccer Video Games

in Sociology of Sport Journal

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Steven Craig ConwayUniversity of Bedfordshire

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This article is a critical qualitative textual analysis of a selection of soccer video games, focusing on the representational and functional aspects of machine actions outside the game (Galloway, 2006) as illustrated by the “Introductory Video” and “Start Menu.” I analyze the figurative and ludic implications of these components comparatively, illustrating their crucial role in configuring audience expectations and pleasures for the game genre as well as for game play. By doing so I hope to illuminate how the socio-ideological values of sport video games (and video games in general) are not only exhibited through the main content of the game but also through something as simple as the start screen. This research concludes by examining what these nongame spaces have to tell us about representations of soccer in new media, and how these mediations affect our understanding of the sport’s culture.

The author is with the University of Bedfordshire, Research Institute for Media Art and Design, Park Square, Luton, United Kingdom, LU1 3JU.

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