'Cinegames: Convergent Media and the Aesthetic Turn'
Special issue of Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media
It is unquestionable that over the past few years the relationship between film and computer games has become increasingly complex. With advances in filming and editing technologies the convergence of the two visual media is inevitable: cyber-narratives and cinematic narratives, both forms of visual narration and representation, have increasingly become blurred. This issue of Digital Icons advances the theoretical implications of cinema-game convergence by introducing the concept of ‘cinegames’ that we understand as a larger cultural phenomenon, underwritten by the development of new technologies and the emergence of new social practice. In taking this approach, the contributors also move beyond Henry Jenkins’s theory of convergence culture. The issue expands the parameters of understanding cinegames in Russia, mapping out new ways to evaluate convergent cultures in the newly formed countries of Eurasia.
Overall the special issue addresses a series of interrelated questions. What are the historical, political and cultural factors that have created cinegames in the region? How have video games transformed film spectatorship? What is the political potential of socio-cultural practices that involve both film and computer games? What is the new temporal economy of films that are based on computer games? How do films enrich the ludic experience of gamers? What is the role of fan activity in establishing links between films and games? What is the impact of film-game hybrids on the existing system of film genres? What is the critical perception of such films in the counties in the region? What is the role of such films and games in the processing of rebuilding national entertainment industries in the post-totalitarian countries? How do film-game products respond to global cultural trends and engage with national cultural traditions? Is it possible to apply the theoretical framework of transnational cinema to such films?
8.0 Editorial | Stephen M. Norris & Vlad Strukov
8.1 Dziga Vertov’s Cine-Eye, Video Games and Contemporary Digital Media | Daria Shembel
8.2 Ludic Digitality: A. Sokurov’s and A. Popogrebskii’s films as Cinegames | Vlad Strukov
8.3 Night Watch: Transmedia, Game and Nation | Greg Dolgopolov
8.4 Patriot Games: The 9th Company and Russian Cinegames | Stephen M. Norris
8.5 Metro 2033 – More Than a Cinegame? | Gernot Howanitz
8.6.1 Personal Quest and Coming of Age in Oleh Sentsov’s Gammer (2011): A Story Ukrainian and Universal | Vitaly Chernetsky
8.6.2 Digital Mnemonics in Slavonic Studies | Dirk Uffelmann
8.7 Book reviews
The issue was guest-edited by Stephen M. Norris (Miami University, Ohio, USA) and Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds, UK).
The issue was prepared by Sudha Rajagopalan, Ellen Rutten, Henrike Schmidt and Vlad Strukov, with editorial support from Pedro Hernandez and Kristen Meredith.
This special issue of Digital icons is dedicated to the memory of Natalia Sokolova, a brilliant scholar of Russian fandom culture and our dear friend.