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Consecrating video games as cultural artifacts: Intellectual legitimation as a source of industry renewal

Journal article
Authors Alexander Styhre
Anna Maria Szczepanska
Björn Remneland Wikhamn
Published in Scandinavian Journal of Management
Volume 34
Issue 1
Pages 22-28
ISSN 0956-5221
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Pages 22-28
Language en
Keywords Consecration, Video game development
Subject categories Economics and Business


The video games industry, one of the fastest growing creative industries and now engaging larger proportions of populations as smartphones and tablets achieve wider use, seeks to enhance its institutional legitimacy in order to further exploit the new economic possibilities provided by, for example, portable digital media and their market penetration. This strategy is based on a form of consecration, a portrayal of video games as cultural artifacts, i.e., objects carrying a wider cultural and aesthetic significance than merely being a form of entertainment. In order to consecrate the video game, the industry relies on video game reviewers and journalists. This strategy, rooted in market opportunity recognition, challenges some of the conventional wisdom of the industry, the gamer community, and the inherited mainstream media view. As a consequence, institutional legitimacy is not easily acquired or earned since historical conditions and path-dependencies also matter in high-pace industries such as the video game industry. © 2017

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