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An Object-Focused Approach to Analog Game Adaptation


Since early in the history of digital computing, analog games have been adapted into digital forms. More recently, adaptations are emerging in the spaces between analog and digital games, notably in board games and the genre of escape games. Prior frameworks for understanding analog game adaptation cannot handle these examples. This thesis introduces an object-focused approach: by framing these games as collections of objects, this approach includes games across the analog-digital spectrum based on which objects and rules are made digital, and how. A descriptive analysis of board game adaptations demonstrates that analog game adaptation has three subprocesses: mediation of game objects, digitization of game information, and codification of rules. Applying the approach to escape games expands the concept of mediation and allows for comparison between escape games across media. Escape games also exemplify a new term, ”genre adaptation”, describing adaptation occurring at the level of genre, not individual works.

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