Book: Approaches to Videogame Discourse

Announcing the publication of their new book, Approaches to Videogame Discourse: Lexis, Interaction, Textuality (Bloomsbury, 2019, ed. Astrid Ensslin and Isabel Balteiro):

The first significant collection of research in videogame linguistics, Approaches to Videogame Discourse features an international array of scholars in linguistics, media and communication studies exploring lexis, interaction and textuality in digital games.

In the first section, “Lexicology, Localisation and Variation,” chapters cover productive processes surrounding gamer slang (ludolects), creativity and borrowing across languages, as well as industry-, genre-, game- and player-specific issues relating to localization, legal jargon and slang. “Player Interactions” moves on to examine communicative patterns between videogame players, focusing in particular on (un)collaborative language, functions and negotiations of impoliteness and issues of power in player discourse. In the final section, “Beyond the ‘Text’,” scholars grapple with issues of multimodality, paratextuality and transmediality in videogames in order to develop and enrich multimodal theory, drawing on key concepts from ludonarratology, language ideology, immersion and transmedia studies.

With implications for meaningful game design and communication theory, Approaches to Videogame Discourse examines in detail how video games function as means and objects of communication; how they give rise to new vocabularies, textual genres and discourse practices; and how they serve as rich vehicles of ideological signification and social engagement.


“Finally! A concerted take on the richly, intricately discursive world of gaming. Edited collections have proved to be defining moments in digital discourse studies; this one will be no exception.” –  Crispin Thurlow, Professor of Language and Communication, University of Bern, Switzerland

“Approaches to Video-Game Discourse is a field-shaping collection of essays which show how interesting and varied the study of online gaming can be. The book is impressive in its scope, including research about the micro-level features such as word formation and moving through to broader concerns such as the narrativity of particular games. The book should be commended for reaching beyond the study of individual games and paying attention to various paratexts such as video walkthroughs, manuals and the legal language relating to games. The scholars who have contributed to this collection embrace the full range of approaches that are found in discourse studies, using corpus driven analyses, ethnography, pragmatics, and multimodality to explore the texts and interactions of game-playing from empirically informed perspectives. The book will be of interest to linguists and new media scholars alike as a timely resource which helps us all understand how gaming is meaningful in m!
any different ways.” –  Dr. Ruth Page, Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, University of Birmingham, UK

“Fueled by a new generation of scholars, this volume sketches out videogame discourse studies as a new field of research that extends from corpus-assisted lexical analysis to the multimodal study of paratexts that surround games. The authors draw on concepts and questions from applied, media and sociolinguistics, such as language ideologies, (im)politeness, plain language, and localization. This volume offers an accessible introduction to a field of practice that is massively popular on a global scale, yet quite understudied from a language and discourse perspective.” –  Jannis Androutsopoulos, Professor of German and Media Linguistics, Universität Hamburg, Germany

Become a DiGRA Member

Join the premier international association for professionals, academics, developers and other individuals interested in the evolving fields of digital gaming and game studies.