Beyond Mad Scientists and Distracted Geniuses: images of the Science and Scientists in Prey


  • Marcelo Vasconcellos
  • Flávia Garcia de Carvalho
  • Cláudio Rodrigues
  • Alexandre Werner
  • Matheus Prestes


science communication, game analysis, portrayals of science


One of the ways how the public perception of science is formed is through the works of the entertainment industry such as literature, comics, cinema and, in recent decades, digital games. Games showed a relevant growth in their importance as a cultural product; however, they present particularities that make these analyses challenging. Therefore, it becomes relevant to explore methodologies to understand how the images of science and scientists have been portrayed in game media. This work aims to understand how the digital game Prey presents images of science and scientists in its narrative, its visual and its procedural aspects. It is exploratory qualitative research, with a method combining autoethnography complemented by the analysis of videos by YouTubers. We analysed the collected material through discourse analysis based on the Semiology of Social Discourses. We conclude that such representations appear in a sophisticated way, interlacing narrative, visuals and game rules to foster reflections on ethics, capitalism and labour relations, avoiding the repetition of science stereotypes common in entertainment works.





@Conference{digra1925, title ="Beyond Mad Scientists and Distracted Geniuses: images of the Science and Scientists in Prey", year = "2023", author = "Vasconcellos, Marcelo and Garcia de Carvalho, Flávia and Rodrigues, Cláudio and Werner, Alexandre and Prestes, Matheus", publisher = "DiGRA", address = "Tampere", howpublished = "\url{}", booktitle = "Conference Proceedings of DiGRA 2023 Conference: Limits and Margins of Games Settings"}