Simon Huber

Dr. Mag. Simon Huber BA completed his studies in History and Educational Science at the University of Vienna, followed by Cultural Studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. His doctoral thesis was honored with the prestigious Award of Excellence, recognized as one of the top 40 dissertations in 2022 by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research. He is researching and teaching about video games for over ten years and is currently engaged in crafting a research initiative, independently conceiving the project under the working title: Mapping Ways of Reading.

Game Culture between Fine Arts and crude Economies

FROG 2023 – Talk

The relationship between money and games is highly diverse and inherently complex in each of its forms. This complexity has given rise to numerous questions that have kept generations of game scholars busy. I propose an inverted perspective by looking at different money affairs as if they were games in action. This is relevant because the actual exchange of money and goods insinuates how we model the process of trading, and further abstract to whole economies from this point. Notably, previous attempts to delve into the material underpinnings of this relationship appear disconnected from the current research efforts within Game Studies.

To bridge this gap, I draw upon the canonical ludology vs. narratology debate (cf. Mukherjee 2015) to illustrate how material elements are often underrepresented in game analysis. It’s essential to note that this discussion does not venture into the ontological debate about what defines a game. Instead, it acknowledges that games can be viewed as both works of art, expressions of culture reflecting the times they were created in, or as accurate simulations of economic processes, which could just as easily model the speculative art market.

Going beyond this binary classification of games as either art or economic models, we aim to cultivate a truly game-centric perspective on financial transactions, from which games themselves emerge (Rautzenberg et al. 2021). In this context, the ongoing exchange of symbols, mathematical concepts, goods, and narratives transforms into a second-order knowledge visualization (cf. Huber 2021). This approach offers a novel lens through which to explore the intricate relationship between money and games, enriching our understanding of both.

Huber, Simon (2022): Die Emergenz der Anschaulichkeit in Comenius’ Orbis pictus (1658). Universität für Angewandte Kunst.

Mukherjee, Souvik (2015): Video Games and Storytelling: Reading Games and Playing Books. 1st ed. 2015 Edition. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire : New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rautzenberg, Markus, Rolf Nohr, Claus Pias & Gabriele Grammelsberger (2021): Spielförmige Emergenz: Für eine Neubestimmung der Spielwissenschaften. Paidia – Zeitschrift für Computerspielforschung (letzter Zugriff 12.01.2022).


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