Placing the blame: Negotiation of gaming performance [Abstract]

Sjoblom Bjorn
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

In team based multiplayer gaming, a player’s chance of succeeding or progressing hinges on the collaborative efforts of the team members, but also on the individual skill of each of the players, who has to be able to fulfil the roles and tasks designated. Whenever team members fail to attain whatever goal they have set for themselves, it is crucial for them to work out and understand what happened, why it happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. In co-located computer gaming, this is, for the most part, done through verbal accounts, where players negotiate about and discuss prior events in order to make sense of what has happened [2]. In these discussions, the players orient to issues such as the rules of the game, their opponents’ behaviour as well as their own skills and gaming competencies. Through a sequential analysis of how these negotiations are structured in the players’ interaction, the meaning of “following the rules of the game” and what is to count as “competent gaming” can be analyzed as the players’ own concerns. Thereby, this paper elucidates the participants’ perspectives of their own affairs and the ways in which the social order of a gaming session is a cooperative achievement of the players present