Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art


Mar 09, 2023

Talk: Andrei Zanescu on Blockbuster Resonance in Games

On March 9th, TAG member and PhD Communications Candidate Andrei Zanescu is giving a talk about his research on cultural simulation, blockbuster resonance and the filmic logics that shape AAA game-making.

We often hear makers say, “we wanted our game to resonate with audiences.” Likewise, we as audiences often express our recognition or enjoyment of a media product by stating how it resonates with us. However, what audiences and makers mean by resonance is not always the same, especially when it comes to AAA game studio productions involving gigantic scale and investment.

What does resonance mean for these blockbuster game makers?

In this talk detailing his dissertation work’s evolution, Andrei Zanescu traces his study of cultural simulation and how it changed to consider the active deployment of resonance by companies. Focusing on examples from Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed and Wizards of Coast’s Magic series, Andrei discusses how the process of making something resonate is, in these contexts, an intentional strategy that favors aesthetic maximalism rooted in blockbuster cinema and cultural institutions with pre-existing legitimacy, while attending to the economic and technological discourses of success and innovation.

What? Talk and Q&A

When? 4-5pm EST, March 9th.

Where? In-person in the TAG Lab main space (EV11.435) + Streamed on Twitch

Who? Everyone’s invited!