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No 3 (58) 2019

Game-Comics and Comic-Games – Against the Concept of Hybrids

Game-Comics and Comic-Games – Against the Concept of Hybrids

Hans-Joachim Backe

(IT University of Copenhagen)

ORCID: 0000-0002-0091-2574

Translated by: 

Żaneta Bielecka

(University of Gdansk)

ORCID: 0000-0003-4794-9830

Miłosz Wojtyna

(University of Gdansk)

ORCID: 0000-0003-4077-1216

The full version of this article is available  in Polish  in the printed version of Tekstualia and in the on-line subscription.

The concept of hybridity in the humanities is usually a decidedly political, anti-essentialist one, highlighting (in the tradition of Bhabha 2004) the essentially hybrid nature of every individual and every culture. The notion of hybrids has, however, also found use in the characterization of cultural products that bear traits of more than one „conventionally considered distinct” media (Rajewsky 2005). Cultural products at the intersection of digital games and comic books sometimes show distinct traits of both media and have consequentially been conceptualized in the defi nitive work on the subject (Goodbrey 2017) as a hybrid form. In a continuation of previous work (Backe 2012), this article critiques the idea of hybridity in this context. Drawing on principles of knowledge organization and an overview of complex examples, the article posits that the intersection of digital games and comics is too incongruent to be approached as a coherent cultural phenomenon, necessitating instead a medium-specifi c analysis (Hayles 2004) of each instance without a priori categorization as a conceptual hybrid.

The sample of Polish version of this article is available here:

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