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Individuals responsible for video games: an exploration of cataloging practice, user need and authorship theory

Hyerim Cho (iSchool, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)
Chris Hubbles (Independent Researcher, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Heather Moulaison-Sandy (iSchool, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 9 March 2022

Issue publication date: 4 October 2022




Author information is one of the primary metadata elements for information access. While assigning “author(s)” has been relatively straightforward in library systems for textual resources, challenges have emerged in recording creatorship information for collaborative creative works, with surrogates erring on the side of caution and providing little information. This study aims to present improvements to the conceptual understanding of collaborative creatorship and relevant cataloging practice in video games.


The current study is a theoretical investigation of the authorship role of individuals in collaborative creative works, using video games as a case study. The investigation is based on the literature on video game user needs and authorship theory.


Reviews of literature present a disconnect between video game information user needs and currently available author information in library systems. Further analysis of the author/creator concept reveals insufficiencies in adopting auteur theory as the theory is applied to film. Exploration of access practices for other large collaborative creative products and an analysis of user tasks show potentially fruitful directions for future studies. This study recommends identifying primary roles that individuals adopt in video game creations and leveraging crowdsourced-creator information in library databases to enhance the visibility of author information for video games.


By incorporating authorship theories and research from various domains such as film studies, intellectual history and library and information science, this study provides interdisciplinary, theoretical considerations as well as practical suggestions to enhance the current cataloging practice.



Cho, H., Hubbles, C. and Moulaison-Sandy, H. (2022), "Individuals responsible for video games: an exploration of cataloging practice, user need and authorship theory", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 78 No. 6, pp. 1420-1436.



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