The List

This list of material is inspired from the literary concept of paratextuality, which was developed by Gérard Genette. Chris Koenig-Woodyard summarised this concept by saying that

Genette formulates a simple algorithm that governs the whole of Paratexts:  Paratext = peritext + epitext. The peritext includes elements ‘inside’ the confines of a bound volume – everything between and on the covers, as it were. The epitext, then, denotes elements ‘outside’ the bound volume — public or private elements such as interviews, reviews, correspondence, diaries etc. — although Genette does comment that ‘in principle, every context serves as a paratext.’[1]

Paratextuality can be applied to videogames, but it needs to be adapted. After all, the paratext of videogames has the potential to be much more complex than the paratext of books. There can be a greater and more diverse group of people who work on a videogame – including programmers, music composers, and even military advisors. Therefore, the potential for peritextual and epitextual material of videogames is greater. Videogames are not books, so applying a literary theory to them without adapting it will be problematic. For more information on other scholars who have applied paratextuality to videogames and Deadplay’s take on doing so, see the project’s reflection paper.




  • Original release
    • Code in its various formats, drivers, assets, tools, the resulting binary executables, and object code
  • Emulation
  • Remakes
  • Re-releases
  • Cross-platform releases and ports
  • Backups and illegal copies
  • Special editions
  • Mods
  • Downloadable content
  • Abandonware


  • Soundtrack released outside of the game
  • Adaptations (book, film, board games, etc.)
  • Live performance of soundtrack
  • Collectibles
  • Paraphernalia
  • Let’s Plays
  • Playthroughs
  • Walkthroughs
  • Machinama
  • Video Captures
  • Video tutorials
  • Platform/hardware and their peripherals
  • Original operating system
  • Manuals box and/or jewel case
  • Housing medium
  • Fanfics and fan art, including those pornographic in nature;
  • Boardgames
  • Covers of soundtrack
  • Videogame inspired music (e.g. nintendocore)
  • Cosplay
  • Reviews of the game, both online and in print (this includes video reviews)
  • Peripherals
    • Dongles
    • Lensolk or other forms of external copy protection
    • Feelies



  • Interviews and oral histories of programmers, designers, sound engineers, audio engineers, translators, tester etc.
  • Development material
    • Versions of software, from original prototypes to patches;
    • Builds
    • Design documents of all kinds
      • Artwork, such as conceptual art, sketches, and storyboards
      • Development-related maps (shadow maps, influence maps, texture maps, etc.)
    • Development-related correspondence
    • Scheduling and planning documents
    • Developer or publisher budgets, forecasting, market research, and other business-related documentation
    • Other documentation related to the developer and publisher relationship
    • Company newsletters and circulars
    • Information on projects, teams, and company structures over time
    • Photographs and videos of the companies, people, and events (internal)
  • Advertising and marketing materials, especially pieces used for unique, one-time purposes
  • Press kits and demos
  • Legal documentation
  • Books on software design, development, and software studies;
  • PowerPoint and other presentations for conferences and meetings;
  • Archival and business records or personal papers from groups, organizations, and individuals who are associated with the software industry but are not involved in software development
  • subversion, sharepoint, and perforce directories; internal Web sites; notice-board notes and posters; and other collaborative and group media
  • Developer or publisher Web pages
  • Crowdfunding websites and campaigns


  • Oral histories of players and fans
  • Photographs and videos of the companies, people, and events (external)
  • Research papers produced by academics
  • Conferences
  • Strategy guides
  • Cheat code books
  • Clones
  • Source materials (i.e., writings, film, art, etc., that inspired a game)




  • Official forums
  • Company organised conventions
  • Official Contests
  • Social media pages and accounts
  • Official Fan Clubs


  • Community managed forums
  • Homages, tributes, and parodies
  • Wikis
  • Community organised conventions
  • LAN parties
  • eSport competition
  • Meetups
  • Game jams
  • Festivals
  • Community social media pages and accounts
  • Comment boards
  • Bulletin boards
  • Listservs

[1] Koenig-Woodyard, Chris, “Gérard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. Translated by Jane E. Lewin and foreword by Richard Macksey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 1997. ISBN: 0-521-41350-8 (hardback), 0-521-42406-2 (paperback). Price: £50 (hardback), £16.95/$29.95 (paperback).” Review of Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, by Gérard Genette. Romanticism on the Net 13, February 1999.