A critical approach to game studies : analysis of Fallout 3® as an example of non-linear gameplay
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Contemporary video games are unlike their pioneering counterparts, almost completely changed in all possible ways ranging from, the hardware that the games are run on to their usage of narrative elements and how one experiences games. They are not just another medium for human expression, rather a phenomenon that combines many elements from different forms and create something unique; a cultural artifact. This thesis aims to approach the field of video game studies, and compile and combine the existent research and establish an improved understanding of the video game as a cultural artifact. It will introduce the world of video games, by explaining the aspects that constitute the phenomenon and compare and contrast the previous attempts to consolidate a framework approaching from different fields of media. Furthermore, by the use of the computer role playing game (cRPG) titled Fallout 3, the study will utilize an analysis of it through the implementation of the methodology and toolsets suggested by researchers such as Espen J. Aarseth and Jesper Juul, and study the subject of nonlinearity and its effects to the gameplay experience, thereby utilizing both a playing analysis and non-playing research. In the course of the study, a general area of game and gameplay will be researched prior to the detailed exemplification of those subjects by using the aforementioned game title.