Title

How do I hold this thing? Controlling reconstructed Q*berts

Publication Date

7-19-2017

Document Type

Article

Department

Information

Publication Title

New Media & Society

Volume

19

Issue

10

DOI

10.1177/1461444817717511

First Page

1581

Last Page

1598

Abstract

Preserving a historically significant video game frequently requires either preserving or adapting a touchable interface for contemporary use. While control techniques are often evaluated in terms of fidelity between in- and out-of-game actions, this essay emphasizes several ways that fidelity must be actively constructed. Bringing a haptic perspective on video gaming into conversation with game history and preservation, this essay examines ways that textual materials surrounding and supplementing a work can be used to construct haptic fidelity. The video game Q*bert is selected as a case study both because of its historical and cultural significance and because it makes idiosyncratic use of controller and force-feedback technologies. The essay concludes that playing Q*bert in a preservation setting requires several unique accommodations at the level of touchable interface, and each accommodation illustrates another way that supplementary texts help construct historical haptic fidelity.

Keywords

Epitext, game history, game preservation, haptic media, paratext

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