Games as Lit. 101

“If I throw a ball at you…”

Games as Lit. 101 oder: Wie digitale Spiele Geschichten erzählen

games as lit 101

Sobald man sich für Video- und Computerspiel-Analyse auf YouTube interessiert, wird die Luft schnell dünn. Zum Glück gibt es den US-Amerikaner Samuel Gronseth, der sich mit seiner Reihe Games as Lit. 101 einer stetig wachsenden Zuschauer und Fanzahl erfreuen kann. RUDOLF INDERST selbst bekennender Abonnent stellt ihm dazu ein paar herrlich unkritische Fragen.

Rudolf Inderst (RI): Hi Sam, would you please introduce yourself to our readers. You also might want to add what it is you are doing on YouTube.

Samuel Gronseth (SG): Hello readers! I’m Samuel Gronseth, and I’m the creator of the webseries, Games as Lit. 101. It’s an educational series about video games; more specifically, it talks about how video games tell stories. I do weekly episodes about specific concepts or topics within specific games, then about once a month I do one long episode analyzing the story of a specific game.

RI: Where do you see yourself and your format in five years?

SG: If I’m being idealistic, I’d love to be doing this full-time by then. I have a full-time job right now, and while it pays the bills quite well, it’s completely unrelated to my field and doesn’t leave me much time to work on this series. So if Patreon and my fans are kind, in five years I’d love to be doing this show still, along with regular game reviews and maybe even some game-making projects on the side. But even without that level of financial success, I’d like to think I’d still be doing the show, and my ultimate goal is to create a curriculum for a Video Games as Literature high school class, so others can teach the course like I did without the difficulty of creating it from scratch.

RI: If our readers only had time for three of your episodes which ones would you suggest and why?

SG: First would be one of my literary analyses, of whichever game they’re most interested in; I’ve done one a month for about a year, so there are plenty of choices. I’m personally most proud of Shadow of the Colossus, The Last of Us, and my art games analysis, but I imagine viewers will get the most out of whichever analyses they can personally connect with. Aside from whichever analysis they choose, I personally like my episode about Lovecraftian themes in Destiny and the one about the difference between depiction and endorsement in a story.

RI: The serious examination and involvement with digital games in a more academic sense on YouTube seems to be negligible at first glance. But maybe you can prove us wrong there? Which channels and colleagues can you recommend?

SG: It’s true there aren’t many channels out there that truly look at video games with a critical eye, but there are some great ones that I really look up to. Extra Credits is the go-to source for insightful video game commentary. Errant Signal is one of the more well-known ones as well. MatthewMatosis is gameplay-centric enough that I disagree with him on occasion, but he knows his stuff and does some excellent analysis. Major Third is a great resource for learning about video game music, The Gaming Historian is great for learning the stories behind various things in the industry, and EmceeProphit’s Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess analysis is the stuff of legend. I only hope to measure up to any one of these people someday.

RI: Thanks for your time and all the best!

Und hier sind noch einmal die wichtigsten Links rund um Games as Lit. 101: Den YouTube-Kanal erreicht man hier. Möchte man Samuel finanziell unterstützen, kann dies am besten hier tun. Natürlich ist er auch auf Facebook und Twitter unterwegs.

Rudolf Inderst

*1978 in München. Lebte in Kopenhagen und verliebte sich. Doppelt promoviert, übernimmt er Verantwortung als Ressortleiter für digitale Spiele hier bei nahaufnahmen.ch. Liebt Stanislaw Lem, Hörspiele und Podcasts. Spielt Videospiele seit etwa 40 Jahren. Lehrt Game Studies (aktuell in Neu-Ulm & München), trägt gerne Bart und vertrat jüngst eine Professur für "Intermediale Ästhetik" an der Hochschule Trier.

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