Engaging with Videogames: Play, Theory and Practice


Engaging with Videogames: Play, Theory and Practice


Edited by Dawn Stobbart and Monica Evans

Year: 2014

Format: eBook


Engaging with Videogames explores interdisciplinary aspects of the digital game as cultural artefact, economic product, educational tool and narrative experience.

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Engaging with Videogames focuses on the multiplicity of lenses through which the digital game can be understood, particularly as a cultural artefact, economic product, educational tool, and narrative experience. Game studies remains a highly interdisciplinary field, and as such tends to bring together scholars and researchers from a wide variety of fields and analytical practices. As such, this volume includes explorations of videogames from the fields of literature, visual art, history, classics, film studies, new media studies, phenomenology, education, philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences, as well as game studies, design, and development. The chapters are organised thematically into four sections focusing on educational game practices, videogame cultures, videogame theory, and the practice of critical analysis. Within these chapters are explorations of sexual identity and health, videogame history, slapstick, player mythology and belief systems, gender and racial ideologies, games as a ‘body-without organs,’ and controversial games from Mass Effect 3 to Raid over Moscow. This volume aims to inspire further research in this rapidly evolving and expanding field.

Dawn Stobbart and Monica Evans

Part 1 Gaming Practices and Education

Toward a Social-Constructivist View of Serious Games: Practical Implications for the Design of a Sexual Health Education Video Game
Sara Mathieu-C. and Louis-Martin Guay

From Adventure to Education: Exploring Meanings of Scenario and Dimension in Video Games
Justina Gröber

Exploring the Idealised Self: Avatars as a Vessel for Adolescent Identity Exploration and Growth
Peter Wonica

Situating Play Cultures: A Survey of Videogame Players and Practices in France
Rufat Samuel, Coavoux Samuel, Hovig Ter Minassian

‘Where Is Life?’ Commitment and Micro-Interactions in Videogames
Hovig Ter Minassian, Isabel Colón de Carvajal, Manuel Boutet and Mathieu Triclot

The Phenomenology of Video Games: How Gamers Perceive Games and Gaming
Benjamin Čulig, Marko Katavić, Jasenka Kuček and Antonia Matković

Part 2 Gaming Practices and Culture

The Involvement of Mythology with Player Experience in MMOs
Michael Andreen

It’s Just a Game, or Is It?: A Study of Racism in Game and Character Design
Steven Billingslea II

Exploring Experimental Video Gaming as a ‘Body without Organs’
Corné du Plessis

Funny Games: Understanding Videogames as Slapstick and the Experience of Game-Worlds as Shared Cultural References
Ben Hudson

Gaming the Taboo in the Finlandisation Era Finland: The Case of Raid over Moscow
Tero Pasanen

Immersion vs. Emersive Effects in Videogames
Piotr Kubiński

Part 3: Videogame Theory

Playing with Fiction: Ludology and the Evolution of Narrative in Videogames
Dawn Stobbart

What Is Videogame History?
Nick Webber

Text as Ruleset: How Games Precede Humanities
Roger Travis

Challenging Ideologies of Gender through Indie Games
Karen Mentz

The Backwards Progressional: Is More Really Better?
Sarah Hope Scoggins

Videogames as Art: The Spirit of the ‘Literary Artist’ in the Discourse of Game-Making
Agnieszka Kliś-Brodowska and Bartłomiej Kuchciński

Ergodic Agency: How Play Manifests Understanding
Isaac Karth

Part 4 From Theory to Practice

‘Get Over It!’: Sexuality and Sexual Diversity in Video Games
René Schallegger

The End of the End as We Know It: A Philosophical Look at the Narration in Mass Effect
Thomas Morisset

The Virtual Identities of Actual Gamers: An Analysis of Popular Response to Mass Effect 3
Jakub Siwak

Implicit and Explicit Video Game Structure in Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Jamie Skidmore

Rewriting Morality: Women, Sexuality and Morality in Dishonored
Meaghan Ingram

Spaces of the Past: Nostalgia in the Murder on the Orient Express and The Last Express
Radha Dalal

Constructing a Reality: A Post-Structural Analysis of Deus Ex
Luke S. Bernfeld

Dawn Stobbart studies at Lancaster University’s English Department, focusing on the way that videogames function as a carrier for narrative and its role within this medium. She has an interest in contemporary Literature, and especially the way this translates to the videogame.

Monica Evans is an Associate Professor of Computer Game Design at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her current research focuses on narrative for interactive systems, digital ethics, and experimental game production. She runs the Narrative Systems Research Lab at UT Dallas.