Podcast: Clara Fernández-Vara, “From Elsinore to Monkey Island: Theatre and Videogames as Performance Activities”

What do Shakespeare and videogames have in common? Clara Fernández-Vara, a Comparative Media Studies alumna, explains her journey from researching Shakespeare in performance to studying and developing videogames. Applying concepts from theatre in performance illuminates the relationship between the player and the game, as well as between game and narrative.

Videogames are not theatre, but the comparison gives way to productive questions: What is the dramatic text of the game? How does this text shape the actions of the player? Who are the performers? Who is the audience? These questions will be addressed in the context of adventure games, a story-driven genre where the player solves puzzles that are integrated in the fictional world of the game.

Clara Fernández-Vara is a post-doctoral researcher at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, where she teaches courses on videogame theory and game writing, as well as develop games with teams of students. Clara is a graduate from the Comparative Media Studies program, and holds a PhD in Digital Media from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research concentrates on adventure games, game playing as a performance activity, and the integration of stories in simulated environments. She has released two experimental adventure games, Rosemary (2009) and Symon (2010).

Andrew Whitacre

About Andrew Whitacre

Andrew directs the communications efforts for CMS/W and its research groups. A native of Washington, D.C., he holds a degree in communication from Wake Forest University, with a minor in humanities, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. This work includes drawing up and executing strategic communications plans, with projects including website design, social media management and training, press outreach, product launches, fundraising campaign support, and event promotions.


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