The metaverse, but not the way you think: game engines and automation beyond game development

Chia, Aleena. 2022. The metaverse, but not the way you think: game engines and automation beyond game development. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 39(3), pp. 191-200. ISSN 1529-5036 [Article]

The metaverse but not the way you think game engines and automation beyond game development.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The production of videogames routinely uses automated techniques to generate content, rig animations, map light, and script behaviors. The automation of programming and artistic functions is increasingly baked into game engines that work with other software applications in 3D production ecosystems, which are laying the foundations for what is being pitched by platform companies as the future metaverse. Platform studies has analyzed automated decision-making through the politics of classification. Game studies has investigated engines such as Unreal and Unity as platform tools that consolidate power through asymmetries of interconnectivity and interoperability. This commentary discusses the automaticity of game engines as platform tools for designing and simulating interactive 3D worlds within and beyond games. Outlining the structuring force of game engines from game development and entertainment media to architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing, I speculate on the implications of engines for game workers and game studies.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Game engines; platform tools; 3D real-time; metaverse; automation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


18 May 2022Accepted
9 June 2022Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 May 2024 08:52

Last Modified:

07 May 2024 08:59

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)