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Pacman's canon in C#: a quantum interpretation of video game canon.

Heron, Michael James


Michael James Heron


The topic of what constitutes canon with a video game is an under-explored topic in critical discussion. We rely, as a field, on largely intuitive and insubstantial parameters for the elements that we choose to analyse. This paper outlines the role of canon in the creation of popular media franchises, and the specific complexities that arise from treating video games as part of the same broad spectrum as more passive media such as books and movies. It puts forward a theory of canonicty that allows for all expression of player agency to be canonical simultaneously for the purposes of analysis and discussion-this is a kind of quantum interpretation. It concludes with an argument as to why what we consider to be viable canonical elements within video games must be tightly constrained if we are to give ourselves the best intellectual base from which to function.


HERON, M. 2017. Pacman's canon in C#: a quantum interpretation of video game canon. Computer games journal [online], 6(3), pages 135-151. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 16, 2017
Online Publication Date May 22, 2017
Publication Date Sep 30, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 6, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2017
Journal Computer games journal
Print ISSN 2052-773X
Electronic ISSN 2052-773X
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 3
Pages 135-151
Keywords Canon; Criticism; Game criticism; Popular culture
Public URL


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