Sparking a Steam Revolution: Examining the Evolution and Impact of Digital Distribution in Gaming

Hoile, Robert, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Booth, Alison, Department of English, University of Virginia

This paper examines the current state of digital distribution platforms in the videogame industry and advocates their central role as a catalyst for change within the industry. The paper discusses issues of terminology and categorization that remain problematic in the studying, developing, and consuming digital games, while offering that increased collaboration between players and developers through platforms such as Valve's Steam can spark a change that will lead games to be more widely recognized as artistic and cultural objects. Included in this paper is a short section analyzing Davey Wreden's The Stanley Parable as both an example of videogames in this capacity and of what can result from collaboration between videogame players and developers through digital distribution platforms.

MA (Master of Arts)
Steam, digital distribution, videogame, game, Stanley Parable, distribution platform, digital marketplace, video game, tagging, art game
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