From Digital Humanities to Game Studies – Talk by Dr. Yannick Rochat, EPFL

EPFL DH Research Seminar 2020/2021, Digital Humanities at EPFL

Born about sixty years ago in universities, video games have become a cultural phenomenon. Academics from a wide range of disciplines study them today. By exploring the past as well as the current state of this digital native media, we tackle topics as diverse as the development of information technologies, the planned obsolescence of digital media and their archiving, the art of non-linear storytelling, the dynamics of gaming social media platforms, and many other domains.

While doing research in digital humanities, one of its closest fields, game studies captured my interest. As an illustration of video games’ multiple facets, game studies welcomes researchers from all kinds of disciplines (computer science, mathematics, physics, business, humanities, sociology, sport, etc.). In this talk, I will highlight the proximity between game studies and digital humanities by showcasing some research projects I am currently working on: 

  • The history of Swiss video games / history of video games in Switzerland
  • The archiving of video games (with Memoriav and Musée Bolo)
  • A middle reading analysis of video games press (with Selim Krichane and LUDOV, University of Montreal)
  • How to study video games source code (with Stéphanie Mader, CNAM)
  • A platform studies approach to the Smaky

The DH Research Seminar is a series of talks organised by the Digital Humanities Institute of EPFL given by researchers from a wide range of backgrounds and aiming at presenting the vast array of subjects covered by Digital Humanities.