Fictionalism and videogame aggression

Tavinor Grant
2017 DiGRA '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference

Videogames undoubtedly contain a great deal of apparent violence and aggression. This depictive content has frequently led to both public moral condemnation and the scientific investigation of the possible effects games have on aggression and violence beyond the context of gaming. This paper is not concerned with either the moral or the empirical questions of the effects of game violence, rather it concerns a conceptual problem with the analysis of in-game aggression. The frequently unacknowledged status of almost all videogames as fictions has important implications for our understanding of the content of games and the attitude of players toward it, and has proved a very poor starting point for understanding the function of apparently aggressive and violent gameplay. This paper investigates how the fictional nature of videogames affects the analysis of game aggression and violence, both undermining various assumptions of scientific accounts of game violence, but also leading to promising avenues of investigating the role of fictional aggression in gameplay.


Situating Gaming as a Sonic Experience: The acoustic ecology of First-Person Shooters

Grimshaw Mark Schott Gareth
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

To date, little has been written on digital game sound as Games Studies has almost exclusively treated and discussed digital games as a visual medium. This paper explores how sound possesses the ability to create perceptions of a variety of spaces within the game world, thus constituting a significant contributing factor to player immersion. Focusing on First-Person Shooters (FPS), we argue that player(s) and soundscape(s), and the relationships between them, may be usefully construed and conceptualized as an acoustic ecology. An argument is presented that, even though its sonic palette may be smaller, the FPS acoustic ecology emulates real world ecologies as players form a vital component in its construction and maintenance. The process of building a conceptual framework for understanding and testing the function of game sound as an acoustic ecology is broadly outlined, involving the application and extension of a disparate range of media sound theories in addition to the construction of new concepts to account for the unique features of the interactive medium of FPS games.


WADs, Bots and Mods: Multiplayer FPS Games as Co-creative Media

Morris Sue
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

This paper will focus on the inter-relationships between media, technology and culture as demonstrated by the online multiplayer FPS scene, and will make explicit the degree to which game texts and associated technology facilitate culture and the formation of community, and how in turn such social structures inflect and determine the development of computer games, related Internet technologies and subsequent models for software development and distribution. Beyond the idea of “participatory media”, I argue that multiplayer FPS games have become “co-creative media”; neither developers nor players can be solely responsible for production of the final assemblage regarded as “the game”, it requires the input of both.


Problem Based Game Design – Engaging Students by Innovation

Reng Lars Schoenau-Fog Henrik
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

At Aalborg University’s department of Medialogy, we are utilizing the Problem Based Learning method to encourage students to solve game design problems by pushing the boundaries and designing innovative games. This paper is concerned with describing this method, how students employ it in various projects and how they learn to analyse, design, and develop for innovation by using it. We will present various cases to exemplify the approach and focus on how the method aspires for innovation in digital entertainment and games.


Danger Close: Contesting Ideologies and Contemporary Military Conflict in First Person Shooters

Van Zwieten Martijn
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

More and more military first-person shooters situate their action in contemporary conflicts, with some claiming to various degrees to realistically depicted that conflict. Using the recently released game Medal of Honor as an example, this paper shows that such realism is made impossible by the presence of three ideological constructs found in military shooters: the FPS apparatus, the military-entertainment complex and neo-Orientalism. These constructs respectively naturalize violent intervention, frame the U.S. military as just heroes, and present Afghanistan and its inhabitants as fundamentally terrorist. Each of these constructs thus works to strip elements of military conflict of context, and reinforces the others’ tendency to turn a complex war into a simple case of good vanquishing evil.


In the army now – Narrative elements and realism in military first-person shooters

Breuer Johannes Festl Ruth Quandt Thorsten
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

From their early beginnings until today computer and video games have always been substantial parts of the so-called military-entertainment complex. Especially the genre of first-person shooters (FPS) has always been closely associated with the military due to its typical contents and gameplay mechanisms. This paper presents a content analysis of narrative elements in military-themed FPS games from 1992 to 2010 (n=189). The results show that particular conflicts, locations and fractions appear very frequently in these games. The wars and conflicts are almost exclusively portrayed from an American or Western perspective and the degree of realism differs depending on the respective topics and settings. Based on the results of the content analysis, we develop a typology of levels of realism in FPS. The findings are discussed with regard to potential effects of military-themed FPS on their players as suggested by narrative persuasion theory.


Gaming Mind, Gaming Body: The Mind/Body Split For a New Era

Young Bryan-Mitchell
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Drawing on the phenomenologically inspired works of drew Leder and Randy Martin, this paper examines the ways in which playing a First-Person Shooter first creates a secondary body for the player and then, because of the first-person perspective, proceeds to erase that body from the player’s consciousness. The paper explores the notion of and the ways in which First-Person Shooters complicate our conception of embodiment. Offering an ethnographically-influenced semiotic analysis of playing a FPS, the paper begins by declaring that we are typically not aware of our bodies and that playing a FPS gives us another body on which to concentrate causing an erasure of the physical body. It is then asserted that the virtual body is also rendered invisible due to the perspective and speed of the game resulting in a double erasure of the body leaving behind only the mind.