Games on Media: Beyond Remediation

  • Andra IvănescuEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Audio-Visual Culture book series (PSAVC)


This chapter draws on Bolter and Grusin’s concept of remediation in order to explore the reflective commentary that games provide on past media. It starts with the idea of ‘games on games’ and how video games relate to their own past, by looking at Evoland (2013) and Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder (2015) and the way in which they retell fragments of video game history. Then, the relationship between games, film, and film genre is explored by examining L.A. Noire (2012) and its film noir pedigree. Finally, through a look at Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002), its televisual and cinematic influences, its memorable soundtrack, and the game’s overall cultural impact, the issue of canon is explored.


  1. Abalos, B. (1999). Straightness, Whiteness, and Masculinity: Reflections on “Miami Vice”. In A. K. Spears (Ed.), Race and Ideology: Language, Symbolism and Popular Culture. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Anger, K. (1975). Hollywood Babylon. New York: Dell Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Annandale, D. (2006). The Subversive Carnival of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In N. Garrelts (Ed.), The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto: Critical Essays (pp. 88–103). London: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  4. Baudrillard, J. (1994). Simulacra and Simulation (S. F. Glaser, Trans.). Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bogost, I., & Klainbaum, D. (2006). Experiencing Place in Los Santos and Vice City. In N. Garrelts (Ed.), The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto: Critical Essays (pp. 162–176). London: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  6. Bolter, J. D., & Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Boym, S. (2001). The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  8. Butler, D. (2013). In a Lonely Tone: Music in Film Noir. In A. Spicer & H. Hanson (Eds.), Companion to Film Noir (pp. 302–317). Somerset: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chion, M. (1994). Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen (C. Gorbman, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Coates, S. (2011). L.A. Noire Revisited. Retrieved from:
  11. Cook, P. (2005). Screening the Past: Memory and Nostalgia in Cinema. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Dumas, C. (2012). Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma and the Political Invisible. Bristol: Intellect.Google Scholar
  13. Durgnat, R. (2003 [1970]). Paint It Black: The Family Tree of the Film Noir. In A. Silver & J. Ursini (Eds.), Film Noir Reader (pp. 37–51). New York: Limelight Editions.Google Scholar
  14. Dyer-Witheford, N., & de Peuter, G. (2009). Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  15. Dymek, K. and Lennerfors, T. (2005). Among pasta-loving Mafiosos, drug-selling Columbians and noodle-eating Triads—Race, humour and interactive ethics in Grand Theft Auto III. Proceedings of DiGRA 2005 Conference: Changing Views—Worlds in Play, Vancouver, Canada.Google Scholar
  16. Ebert, R. (1995, January 30). A Guide to Film Noir Genre. Retrieved from: Accessed 16 June 2014.
  17. Edge Magazine. (2012). The Making of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Retrieved from:
  18. Farrimond, K. (2013). Postfeminist Noir: Brutality and Retro Aesthetics in The Black Dahlia. Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 43(2), pp. 34–49.Google Scholar
  19. Farrimond, K. (2017). The Contemporary Femme Fatale: Gender, Genre and American Cinema. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Giappone, K. B. R. (2015). Self-Reflexivity and Humor in Adventure Games. Game Studies, 15(1). Retrieved from:
  21. Gibbons, W. (2018). Unlimited Replays: Video Games and Classical Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Grønstad, A. (2003). Mean Streets: Death and Disfiguration in Hawks’s Scarface. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 2(2), 385–209.Google Scholar
  23. Hart, I. (2015). Hard Boiled Music: The Case of L. A. Noire. Screen Sound, 5, 19–35.Google Scholar
  24. Higgin, T. (2006). Play-Fighting: Understanding Violence in Grant Theft Auto III. In Garrelts, N. (Ed.), The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto: Critical Essays (pp. 70–87). Jefferson, London: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  25. Huhtamo, E., & Parikka, J. (2011). Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  26. Jameson, F. (1991). Postmodernism Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  27. Jørgensen, K. (2016). The Positive Discomfort of Spec Ops: The Line. Game Studies, 16(2). Retrieved from: Accessed August 12, 2018.
  28. Kerr, A. (2006). Spilling Hot Coffee? Grand Theft Auto as Contested Cultural Product. In N. Garrelts (Ed.), The Meaning and Culture of Grand Theft Auto: Critical Essays (pp. 17–34). London: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  29. Leonard, D. (2003). “Live in Your World, Play in Ours”: Race, Video Games, and Consuming the Other. Studies in Media and Information Literacy Education, 3(4), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Leonard, D. (2006). Not a Hater, Just Keepin’ It Real: The Importance of Race- and Gender-Based Game Studies. Games and Culture, 1(1), 83–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lessard, J. (2012). Adventure Before Adventure Games: A New Look at Crowther and Woods’s Seminal Program. Games and Culture, 8(3), 119–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Liao, D. (2006, January). The World is Yours: The Influence of Scarface on Hip-Hop Culture, and Def Jam Presents: Origins of a Hip-Hop Classic. AfricaResource. Retrieved from:
  33. McLean, A. L. (1993). “It’s Only That I Do What I Love and Love What I Do”: “Film Noir” and The Musical Woman. Cinema Journal, 33(1), 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miklitsch, R. (2011). Siren City: Sound and Source Music in Classic American Noir. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Miller, K. (2007). Jacking the Dial: Radio, Race and Place in “Grand Theft Auto”. Ethnomusicology, 51(3), 402–438.Google Scholar
  36. Miller, K. (2012). Playing Along: Digital Games, YouTube and Virtual Performance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Naremore, J. (2008). More Than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  38. Ness, R. R. (2008). A Lotta Night Music: The Sound of Film Noir. Cinema Journal, 47(2), 52–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Newman, J. (2011). Best Before: Videogames, Supersession and Obsolescence. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  40. Prince, R. (2009). Say Hello to My Little Friend: De Palma’s Scarface, Cinema Spectatorship, and the Hip Hop Gangsta as Urban Superhero. PhD thesis, Bowling Green State University.Google Scholar
  41. Reale, S. B. (2014). Transcribing Musical Worlds; Or, Is L.A. Noire a Music Game? In K. Donnelly, W. Gibbons, & N. Lerner (Eds.), Music in Video Games: Studying Play (pp. 77–103). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Rockstar Games. (2011). Features. Retrieved from:
  43. Rodman, R. (2010). Tuning In: American Narrative Television Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Rutsky, R. L. (1988). Visible Sins, Vicarious Pleasures: Style and Vice in “Miami Vice”. SubStance, 17(1), 77–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sanders, S. (2010). Miami Vice. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Schrader, P. (1972). Notes on Film Noir. Film Comment, 8(1), 8–13.Google Scholar
  47. Singh, G. (2009). From Lonely Streets to Lonely Rooms: Prefiguration, Affective Responses and the Max Payne Single-Player. In M. Bould, K. Glitre, & G. Tuck, (Eds.), Neo-Noir (pp. 90–102.) London and New York: Wallflower Press.Google Scholar
  48. Sloan, R., (2016). Nostalgia Videogames as Playable Game Criticism. G|A|M|E The Italian Journal of Game Studies. Retrieved from: Accessed 7 June 2017.
  49. Straton, J. (2009). Michael Mann’s Miami Vice: Protecting White America in the 1980s. Television and New Media, 10(2), 195–215.Google Scholar
  50. Taylor, L. N., & Whalen, Z. (2008). Playing the Past: History and Nostalgia in Video Games. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Zielinski, S. (1999). Audiovisions: Cinema and Television as Entr’actes in History (G. Custance, Trans.). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar

Media References

  1. American Graffiti. (1973). Dir. George Lucas [Film]. USA: Universal Pictures.Google Scholar
  2. Assassin’s Creed Series. (2007–present). Multiple Developers [Video Games]. France: Ubisoft.Google Scholar
  3. BioShock: Infinite. (2013). Irrational Games [Video Game]. USA: 2K Games.Google Scholar
  4. Braid. (2008). Number None [Video Game]. UK: Number None.Google Scholar
  5. Castlevania Series. (1986–present). Konami [Video Games]. Japan: Konami.Google Scholar
  6. Chinatown. (1974). Dir. Roman Polanski [Film]. USA: Paramount Pictures.Google Scholar
  7. Colossal Cave Adventure. (1976–1977). William Crowther and Don Woods [Video Game].Google Scholar
  8. Diablo Series. (1996–present). Blizzard North and Blizzard [Video Games]. USA: Blizzard.Google Scholar
  9. Dragon Quest series. (1986–present). Multiple Developers [Video Games]. Japan: Square Enix and Nintendo.Google Scholar
  10. Drive. (2011). Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn [Film]. USA: FilmDistrict.Google Scholar
  11. Evoland. (2013). Shiro Games [Video Game]. France: Shiro Games.Google Scholar
  12. Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder. (2015). Shiro Games [Video Game]. France: Shiro Games.Google Scholar
  13. Fahrenheit. (2005). Quantic Dream [Video Game]. USA: Atari Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Fallout 3. (2008). Bethesda Softworks [Video Game]. USA: Bethesda Game Studios.Google Scholar
  15. Final Fantasy Series. (1987–present). Square, Square Enix [Video Games]. Japan: Square, Square Enix.Google Scholar
  16. Framed. (2013). Loveshack Entertainment [Video Game]. USA: Loveshack Entertainment.Google Scholar
  17. Gilda. (1946). Dir. Charles Vidor [Film]. USA: Columbia Pictures.Google Scholar
  18. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. (2002). Rockstar North [Video Game]. USA: Rockstar Games.Google Scholar
  19. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. (2004). Rockstar North [Video Game]. USA: Rockstar Games.Google Scholar
  20. Grim Fandango. (1998). LucasArts [Video Game]. USA: LucasArts.Google Scholar
  21. Heavy Rain. (2010). Quantic Dream [Video Game]. Japan: Sony Computer Entertainment.Google Scholar
  22. Hotline Miami. (2012). Dennaton Games [Video Game]. USA: Devolver Digital.Google Scholar
  23. Intolerance. (1916). Dir. D. W. Griffith [Film]. USA: Triangle Distributing Corporation.Google Scholar
  24. Knights of Pen and Paper. (2012). Behold Studios [Video Game]. USA: Paradox Interactive.Google Scholar
  25. L.A. Confidential. (1997). Dir. Curtis Hanson [Film]. USA: Warner Bros.Google Scholar
  26. L.A. Noire. (2012). Team Bondi [Video Game]. UK: Rockstar Games.Google Scholar
  27. Mafia II (2010). 2K Czech [Video Game]. USA: 2K Games.Google Scholar
  28. Max Payne Series. (2001–2012). Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar Studios [Video Games]. UK: Rockstar Games.Google Scholar
  29. Metal Gear Series (1987–present). Multiple Developers [Video Games]. Japan: Konami.Google Scholar
  30. Miami Vice (1984–1989). Created by: Anthony Yerkovich [Television Series]. USA: NBC.Google Scholar
  31. Sam and Max Series. (2006–2010). Telltale Games [Video Games]. USA: Telltale Games.Google Scholar
  32. Scarface. (1932). Dir. Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson [Film]. USA: United Artists.Google Scholar
  33. Scarface. (1983). Dir. Brian DePalma [Film]. USA: Universal Pictures.Google Scholar
  34. Spec Ops: The Line. (2012). Yager Development [Video Game]. USA: 2K Games.Google Scholar
  35. Super Mario Bros. (1985). Nintendo Creative Department [Video Game]. Japan: Nintendo.Google Scholar
  36. Tex Murphy Series. (1994–1998). Access Software [Video Games]. USA: Access Software.Google Scholar
  37. The Birth of a Nation. (1915). Dir. D. W. Griffith [Film]. USA: Epoch Producing Co.Google Scholar
  38. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. (2011). Bethesda Softworks [Video Game]. USA: Bethesda Game Studios.Google Scholar
  39. The Legend of Zelda Series. (1986–present). Multiple Developers [Video Games]. Japan: Nintendo.Google Scholar
  40. The Secret of Monkey Island. (1990). Lucasfilm Games [Video Game]. USA: Lucasfilm Games.Google Scholar
  41. The Sting. (1973). Dir. George Roy Hill. USA: Universal Pictures.Google Scholar
  42. Undertale. (2015). Toby Fox [Video Game]. USA: Toby Fox.Google Scholar
  43. White Night. (2015). OSome Studio [Video Game]. USA: Activision.Google Scholar
  44. Who Framed Roger Rabbit. (1988). Dir. Robert Zemeckis [Film]. USA: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.Google Scholar
  45. Zork. (1980). Infocom [Video Game]. USA: Infocom.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brunel University LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations