Supervisor: Mia Consalvo
Thesis title: More Real than Real Culture: The Semiotics of AAA Videogame Simulations of Culture
Hi! I’m a 4th year PhD candidate in the Communication Studies department. My background is located in liberal arts, philosophy and communications. My MA thesis was about the representation of Balkan cultures in the Witcher series and the broader stakes concerning Balkanism in cultural industries. Nowadays, my research is primarily focused on broadening the work I started in my MA. My doctoral dissertation work focuses on the simulation of real-world cultures in large-scale AAA games. My work also intersects with semiotics, sociology and museum studies. Aside from my personal work, I split my time among three other projects. I’ve been part of the Streaming at the Margins project, headed by Dr. Mia Consalvo, which deals with the daily lives and experiences of videogame live streamers. I’ve also been working with Dr. Martin French and Marc Lajeunesse on the gamblification of videogames (the inclusion of gambling mechanics and logics in videogames and afferent platforms). Lastly, I’ve been part of the Humour and Games project (along with Marc Lajeunesse and Scott Dejong) sponsored by the TAG research centre. This project’s focus is interviewing games academics and professionals on the intersection of humour and games.
Zanescu, A., Lajeunesse, M. and French, M. (2021) ‘Speculating on Steam: Consumption in the gamblified platform ecosystem’, Journal of Consumer Culture, 21(1), pp. 34–51. doi: 10.1177/1469540521993928.
Zanescu, A., French, M. and Lajeunesse, M. (2020) ‘Betting on DOTA 2’s Battle Pass: Gamblification and productivity in play’, New Media & Society. doi: 10.1177/1461444820941381.
Zanescu, A. (2021) ‘Book Review: Addictive Consumption: Capitalism, Modernity and Excess’, Journal of Consumer Culture. doi: 10.1177/14695405211022435.
Zanescu, A. (2018) Counter-Balkanism in The Witcher & Gwent: A Historical Reinvention Past the Balkan Paradigm. Masters Thesis, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.