Intermediations: Metagames and Media Aesthetics

Fri January 27th 2023, 12:00pm
Event Sponsor
Program in Modern Thought and Literature
Building 460, Margaret Jacks Hall
450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 460, Stanford, CA 94305
Terrace Room (426)

You are invited to the first winter-quarter edition of Intermediations, a lecture series exploring borders between different media and disciplinary zones. Our guest, Professor Patrick Jagoda -- a true interdisciplinarian, teaching on media, English, as well as obstetrics at the University of Chicago (full bio below) -- will be presenting current work on the phenomenon of "metagames." 

The event is two weeks from today - January 27, 12 pm, in the Terrace Room of Margaret Jacks Hall.

Here is Professor Jagoda's description of his theme:

"Metagames and Media Aesthetics"

Broadly circulating humanistic terms such as "metafiction" (William H. Gass), "metapictures" (WJT Mitchell), and "metacomics" (M. Thomas Inge) point to heightened self-reflexivity within a medium or form. Particularly since the 2010s, we have seen an increased volume of "metagames" or games about games that include prominent independent game examples such as The Stanley Parable (2013),Doki Doki Literature Club! (2017), and There is No Game (2020). This presentation explores different theories and categories of metagames en route to the question of why metagames are so important to understanding our contemporary media ecology in 2023. Video games in general, and metagames in particular, call for an expanded sense of media aesthetics that exceed Roland Barthes’s earlier triumvirate of image, music, and text. This talk theorizes the videogame sensorium and its broader implications for media studies.


Patrick Jagoda is the William Rainey Harper Professor of Cinema & Media Studies, English, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago. He is Executive Editor of Critical Inquiry and director of the Weston Game Lab, as well as co-founder of the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab and Transmedia Story Lab. Patrick’s books include Network Aesthetics (2016), The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer (2016 with Michael Maizels), Experimental Games: Critique, Play, and Design in the Age of Gamification (2020), and Transmedia Stories: Narrative Methods for Public Health and Social Justice (2022 with Ireashia Bennett and Ashlyn Sparrow). He has also co-edited five special issues or edited volumes, and published over fifty essays and interviews. Patrick designs transmedia, digital and analog games, including the climate change alternate reality game Terrarium (2019), which received the 2020 IndieCade award for the best Location Based and Live Play Design. He is a recipient of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship.