Roger Caillois

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Games, Culture and a Quest for Meaning

A recent Toronto Star story about the accomplishments of the Canadian games industry details how economic support from governments has fostered a strong and growing game development sector within Canada, while tax breaks have enticed foreign publishers to set up shop in cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, bringing thousands of highly sought after info-economy jobs with them.  However, after noting the technical competence and multi-billion dollar prowess of the Canadian interactive media industry, the story laments that “the video game is a medium still searching for cultural legitimacy,” in Canada and in general.  The piece wraps up by suggesting that the “video games industry has found the money” but “its quest for meaning continues.”

This perspective supports a very generalized theory about the mainstream acceptance of creative industries that I’ve mentioned here before.  For a form of pop culture to receive mass acceptance and respect, and to flourish financially and creatively, the theory suggests that it must satisfy at least three conditions:

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