“Drown Your Troubles in Coffee”: Place, Heterotopia, and Immersion in the Coffee Talk Series





place, space, heterotopia, immersion, cozy games, bed, textual analysis, 'Coffee Talk'


This article contributes to the growing body of research on space, place, and immersion in video games and offers an analysis of placeness in Coffee Talk (Toge Productions, 2020) and Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly (Toge Productions, 2023). Building on the work of Michel Foucault (1967/2008), this article begins by analyzing the coffee shop of this series as a heterotopia that allows the game characters and the player to find a form of comfort. Then, it examines the series in light of theories of immersion and pays particular attention to the place where the author played the two games – his bed – and also describes it as a heterotopia. This paper shows the usefulness of Foucault’s concept of heterotopia to understand placeness and coziness in video games, and the relevance of taking into account the physical space of play when we conduct a textual analysis.

Author Biography

Samuel Poirier-Poulin, Université de Montréal

is a Ph.D. candidate in film studies at the Université de Montréal, Canada, specializing in the study of video games and gaming cultures. His doctoral research investigates trauma-like gaming experiences and draws on affect theory and phenomenology of media. His other research interests include romance and queer desires in the visual novel, autoethnography, and multilingual scholarship. Samuel’s work has appeared in Journal of Games Criticism, Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies, Loading: The Journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association, and in the anthology Video Games and Comedy. Since 2022, Samuel is the Editor-in-Chief of the game studies journal Press Start. You can find out more about his work on his website: http://www. spoirierpoulin.com


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How to Cite

Poirier-Poulin, S. (2024). “Drown Your Troubles in Coffee”: Place, Heterotopia, and Immersion in the Coffee Talk Series. Replay. The Polish Journal of Game Studies, 11(1), 29–50. https://doi.org/10.18778/2391-8551.11.03