Karin Wenz, Assistant Professor of English, University of Kassel

In digital media all traditional forms become options of art and design again. This leads to a double coding. Cultural artifacts belong to the sphere of art as well as to the sphere of popular culture. The term hybrid culture refers to this intersection just as the convergence of forms and meanings. This convergence combines forms from traditional areas of art, mass communication and popular culture by employing digital media. Hybridization is a phenomenon resulting from the increased mediation of vast areas of human experience, which is dependent on the storage and processing capacities of digital media. Therefore, hybrid culture is closely linked to the development of digital media. Computer games are one example that can elucidate this process of hybridization. The concept of hybridization does not limit itself to the study of computer-driven narrativity, which would be an arbitrary and unhistorical limitation comparable to a study of literature that would only acknowledge texts in paper-printed form. The concept of hybridization focuses on the mechanical organization of the text or - in our case - of the game, by regarding the complexity of the medium as an integral part of the literary exchange.

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