Luis Navarrete-Cardero e-mail(Login required) , Juan-J. Vargas-Iglesias e-mail(Login required)

Main Article Content


Luis Navarrete-Cardero e-mail(Login required)
Juan-J. Vargas-Iglesias e-mail(Login required)


Given that the democratisation of video games has allowed this industry to appropriate a series of themes traditionally the exclusive preserve of other expressive media, this work analyses the capacity of videoludic expression to elicit emotions and convey the seriousness of cancer by performing a comparative study with literature and cinema. To this end, three works (one per medium) were selected to be respectively read, viewed or played by all the study subjects (n=90). A two-step methodology was employed. Firstly, the concepts of emotion and narrative scheme were defined in the context of disciplines relating to the three media and then shared with the subjects. Secondly, once both variables, i.e. the concepts of emotion and narration, had been controlled, a questionnaire was designed to determine which of the three works comprising the corpus best conveyed the experience of cancer. The results reveal that the sample game, in spite of its shortcomings in character design, was judged to be the one that most poignantly described the development of the disease. Therefore, it is possible to claim that the common belief that video games are trivial devices, solely designed to entertain, contrasts with their true expressive ability to convey dramatic experiences.


Video game, literature, cinema, narrative, emotional response, cancer, serious games


Aarseth, E. J. (1997). Cybertext: Perspectives on ergodic literature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. London: Oxford University Press.

Baranowski, T., Buday, R., Thompson, D. I. & Baranowski, J. (2008). Playing for real: Video games and stories for health-related behavior change. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34(1), 74-82. . Baudry, J. L. (1975). Le dispositif. Communications, 23(1), 56-72.

Bazin, A. (1966). ¿Qué es el cine? Madrid: Rialp.

Bogost, I. (2017, 25 de abril). Video Games Are Better Without Stories. Film, television, and literature all tell them better. So why are games still obsessed with narrative? The Atlantic. Retrieved from video-games-stories/524148/

Bourdieu, P. (2016). La distinción: criterio y bases sociales del gusto. Madrid: Taurus.

Breuer, J. S. & Bente, G. (2010). Why so serious? On the relation of serious games and learning. Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture, 4(1), 7-24.

Bühler, K. (1950). Teoría del lenguaje. Madrid: Revista de Occidente.

Chatman, S. (1990). Historia y discurso: La estructura narrativa en la novela y en el cine. Madrid: Taurus.

Descartes, R. (2005). Las pasiones del alma. Madrid: Edaf.

Doležel, L. (1999). Heterocósmica: ficción y mundos posibles. Madrid: Arco.

Dye, M. W. G., Green, C. S. & Bavelier, D. (2009). Increasing speed of processing with action video games. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(6), 321-326.

Eisenstein, S. (1989). Teoría y técnica cinematográficas. Madrid: Rialp.

García, G. M. (2017). Las ciencias sociales y el cáncer oral. Revista Mexicana de Estomatología, 3(2), 111-118.

García-Sánchez, J. E., Fresnadillo, M. J. & García-Sánchez, E. (2002). El cine en la docencia de las enfermedades infecciosas y la microbiología clínica. Enfermedades infecciosas y Microbiología clínica, 20(8), 403-06.

Genvo, S. (2005). Le game design de jeux vidéo: Approches de l’expression vidéoludique. Paris: L’Harmattan.

Gérard, G. (1989). Palimsestos: La literatura en segundo grado. Madrid: Taurus.

Granic, I., Lobel, A. & Engels, R. C. (2014). The benefits of playing video games. American Psychologist, 69(1), 66-78.

Green, G. P. & Kaufman, J. C. (2015). Video games and creativity. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

Hunicke, R., LeBlanc, M. & Zubek, R. (2004). MDA: A formal approach to game design and game research. Proceedings of the Challenges in Games AI Workshop, 19th National Conference of Artificial Intelligence. San Jose, CA: AAAI Press.

Hutton, E. & Sundar, S. S. (2010). Can video games enhance creativity? Effects of emotion generated by Dance Dance Revolution. Creativity Research Journal, 22(3), 294-303.

Isbiter, K (2106). How games move us: Emotion by design. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Juliá, M. P. (2004). Emoción y relato. Arbor, 177(697), 125-156.

Kato, P. M. (2010). Video games in health care: Closing the gap. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 113-121.

Keogh, B. (2018). A Play of Bodies. How We Perceive Videogames. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Latham, A. J., Patston, L. L. M. & Tippett, L. J. (2013). The virtual brain: 30 years of videogame play and cognitive abilities. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(629).

Mäyrä, F. (2008). An introduction to game studies. London: SAGE Publications.

McCarthy, R. J., Coley, S. L., Wagner, M. F., Zengel, B. & Basham, A. (2016). Does playing video games with violent content temporarily increase aggressive inclinations? A preregistered experimental study. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 67, 13-19.

Marchiori, E. J., Torrente, J., del Blanco, Á., Moreno-Ger, P., Sancho, P. & FernándezManjón, B. (2012). A narrative metaphor to facilitate educational game authoring. Computers & Education, 58(1), 590-599.

Mercadillo, R. E., Díaz, J. L. & Barrios, F. A. (2007). Neurobiología de las emociones morales. Salud mental, 30(3), 1-11.

Montiel, A. (1992). Teorías del cine: Un balance histórico. Barcelona: Montesinos.

Morin, E. (2001). El cine o el hombre imaginario. Barcelona: Paidós.

O’Donnell, C. (2009). The everyday lives of video game developers: Experimentally understanding underlying systems/structures. Transformative Works and Cultures, 2.

Przybylski, A. K. (2014). Electronic gaming and psychosocial adjustment. Pediatrics: The Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 134(3), 1-7.

Rodrigo A. M. (1995). Los modelos de la comunicación. Madrid: Tecnos.

Stewart, B. W. K. P. & Wild, C. P. (2017). World Cancer Report 2014. Lyon: IARC Publications.

Stokmans, M. J. W. & Hieuwenhuijsen, H. (2015). Socialization, mediation and learning by doing: The role of school, family and (virtual) peers in playing video games. Italian Journal of Sociology and Education, 7(2), 301-329.

Villa, A. C., Retamal, G. C. & de Martínez, E. F. (2017). Vivencias y significados de adolescentes sobrevivientes al cáncer. Trilogía: Ciencia Tecnología Sociedad, 6(10), 145-163.


Search GoogleScholar


Article Details

Author Biographies

Luis Navarrete-Cardero, C/Américo Vespucio, s/n

41092 - Sevilla

Juan-J. Vargas-Iglesias, C/Américo Vespucio, s/n

41092 - Sevilla