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Title:Video game rhetoric and materialist contingency: genre, circulation, and narrative
Author(s):Boone, George W
Director of Research:O'Gorman, Ned
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):O'Gorman, Ned
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Finnegan, Cara A.; Davis, Susan G.; Hamilton, Kevin
Department / Program:Communication
Discipline:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):video games
Genre
Narrative
materialism
contingency
circulation
Actor-Network Theory
Dragon Quest
Dragon Warrior
rhetoric
technology
rhetorical history
Abstract:As technology changes, people find new ways to entertain themselves, tell stories, and create imaginary worlds. This dissertation examines the development of Dragon Quest, a video game created for Nintendo’s Famicom game console. I argue Dragon Quest provides insights into the rhetorical techniques that comprise video game design. Attending to Dragon Quest as digital rhetoric highlights how rhetorical contingencies shape the invention of, engagement with, and circulation of video games. This rhetorical analysis analyzes technical documents, business contracts, and popular video game press to provide a historical understanding of the economic, social, and aesthetic exigencies that shaped Dragon Quest. In the first chapter, I trace the emergence of the role-playing game (RPG) in the United States, how it traveled to Japan, and the ways Dragon Quest utilized conventions of this genre. In the second chapter, I attend to the patterns of circulation that Dragon Quest traveled once it left Japan and Enix sold it to North Americans as Dragon Warrior. Chapter three looks at how Dragon Quest creates a linear narrative form through the management of game spaces. The dissertation concludes by arguing that rhetorical analysis of a video game as rhetorical history brings new understandings to how critics might engage the material and economic components of genre, circulation, and narrative. The contingent materials that constitute digital media both allow for and delimit how game designers might approach the creative process. The relationship between technology and human being, however, allows for new rhetorical possibilities, even as other rhetorical possibilities become negated, disadvantageous, or impractical.
Issue Date:2015-07-16
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/88061
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 George W. Boone
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-29
Date Deposited:August 201


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