Journal of Romance Studies

Gameplay literature

The digital play spaces of Belén Gache’s WordToys

Journal of Romance Studies (2016), 16, (1), 22–38.

Abstract

This article discusses the ways in which Belén Gache’s WordToys – through an ironic subversion of the hypertext’s fundamental features – thematizes the concept of the narrative as a contested space that challenges questions of authorial presence and reader agency. Specifically, it aims to illustrate, using the cultural analogue of the video game, how the concept of play can be used to counteract the author-killing proclivities that seemingly pervade hypertext theory. Instead, this article calls on a number of Gache’s ‘word toys’ to show how both the print text and the digital text, despite their structural and technological differences, not only share significant ideological and ontological concerns, but are also troubled by the same agential and performative frustrations.

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Halbert, William Docherty