Now You’re Playing with Adverts

A Repertoire of Frames for the Historical Study of Game Culture through Marketing Discourse


  • Carl Therrien Université de Montréal
  • Isabelle Lefebvre Université de Montréal

Mots-clés :

History of games, Marketing discourse, Printed ads, Content analysis


This article introduces an analytical tool developed to study the content and historical trends of printed ads, a “blind spot” of current studies on the formation of game culture by video game magazines. Focusing on video game advertising, the paper argues that by encouraging specific expectations about future gaming experiences, the marketing discourse exerts an influence on how players interpret, discuss, and interact with video games, as well as suggesting the target audience for said games. The goal of this article is to present the conceptual frames and to highlight their relevance in contemporary game studies. These were segmented into diegetic, experiential and historical frames, as well as demographics, in order to monitor the prevalence of certain addresses (both visual and textual) throughout the magazines’ history.