A1 Journal article (refereed)
Injustice in the Ruins and a Disordered Post-Apocalypse : Gothic Ideology in the Digital Game World of Fallout 3 (2020)

Piittinen, S. (2020). Injustice in the Ruins and a Disordered Post-Apocalypse : Gothic Ideology in the Digital Game World of Fallout 3. Studies in Gothic Fiction, 6(2), 39-50. https://doi.org/10.18573/sgf.34

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Piittinen, Sari

Journal or series: Studies in Gothic Fiction

eISSN: 2156-2407

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 6

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 39-50

Publisher: Cardiff University Press

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18573/sgf.34

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/70920


The Gothic is an influential source for storytelling in a wide range of digital games. Thus far, interpreting it in games and how they are informed by Gothic ideology has been little studied. This study seeks to address this gap in research by investigating these issues in the narrative of the action role-playing game, Fallout 3. More specifically, through a close reading of the game narrative and by drawing on theories of the Gothic, ideological aspects of the Gothic are analyzed in detail with specific reference to non-player characters and their actions and dialogue along with elements of the mise-en-scéne, style, and simulation. Results show how classic Gothic ideology is reproduced in games by multimodal means and how, as in Gothic novels, their production and interpretation is linked to real-life contexts. The involvement of the player in these games means that a Gothic hero is not of necessity helpless, but instead bears a responsibility to make decisions in ideologically complex and ambivalent situations.

Keywords: digital games; role-playing games; narration; close reading; Gothic style; ideologies

Free keywords: gothic; digital games; ideology; role-playing games; close reading; Fallout 3

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 12:20