New Article by Professor Dowling Published in the Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies
Associate Professor David Dowling's research in digital media and journalism studies centers on innovations in publishing industries that drive markets and cultural production.
His latest article, titled "Documentary games for social change: Recasting violence in the latest generation of i-docs," was released 12/3/2020 in the Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies, Volume 12, Number 2.
The evolutionary trajectory of digital journalism has been fuelled by the convergence of visual storytelling unique to documentary filmmaking with the graphics and procedural rhetoric of digital games. The reciprocal influences between gaming and documentary forms coalesce in this new highly engaging interactive journalism. This research demonstrates how game mechanics, design and logics combine with cinematic storytelling conventions in documentary games published since 2014. As forms of civic engagement more intimate and immersive than traditional print and broadcast journalism, documentary games leverage alternative depictions of violence for social critique. Case studies examine products of independent developers including the documentary games We Are Chicago by Culture Shock
Games and iNK Stories’ 1979 Revolution: Black Friday along with its related vérité virtual reality experience, Blindfold. These cases represent major advances in the activist depiction of oppressed populations in narrative documentary journalism. All these projects feature atypical video game protagonists anathema to those of mainstream games.