Exploring the Myth of the Representative Video Game Trailer


  • Jan Švelch Independent Scholar

Mots-clés :

Trailer, Representativity, Paratextuality, Video game promotion, Player discussions


Since the 1980s trailers have been influencing the promotional practices of video game industry, first aesthetically and starting from 1993 also discursively. Currently, they can be considered one of the most prolific and influential tools behind video game hype and marketing. Nonetheless, trailers still fuel controversies due to the questionable representativity of the final video game product. This article explores the notion of a representative trailer by analyzing online user discussions of 12 official trailers for 8 mainstream video game titles published between 2009 and 2016. Results show that while some players are aware of potential misrepresentations caused by video game trailers and revisit old cases of disillusionment, others still expect accurate promotion and base their expectations of upcoming games on trailers.