This is not a game: play in cultural environments



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

Games have a particular set of relationships to the contexts in which they are played. Although games have clearly delineated boundaries in time and space that set them apart from the “real world”, some games are designed to blur that boundary. This essay, comprised of several selections from the authors’ book Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, investigates the complex ways in which games interact with their cultural environment. Focusing on these questions from a game design viewpoint, the essay begins by identifying key concepts related to these questions and ends with detailed design analyses of three games that play with the cultural environments in which the games take place.

 

The Game Frame: Systemizing a Goffmanian Approach to Video Game Theory [Extended Abstract]


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

This paper offers a review, explication and defense of Erving Goffman’s Frame Analysis (1974) as a valid contemporary sociological theory of play, games, and video games. To this end, it provides an introduction the frame analytic conception of play, games and video games. It demonstrates that this account provides an explanatory (rather than merely descriptive) model for the sociality of the game/non-game boundary or ‘magic circle’, as well as phenomena that trouble said boundary, like pervasive games or ARGs. To substantiate the timeliness of a frame analytic approach to games, the paper compares it to and partially takes issue with practice theory, specifically Thomas Malaby‘s recent “new approach to games”. The conclusion summarizes the key characteristics, advantages and limitations of a frame analytic account of video games.

 

This is not a game: play in cultural environments


Salen Katie Zimmerman Eric
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

Games have a particular set of relationships to the contexts in which they are played. Although games have clearly delineated boundaries in time and space that set them apart from the “real world”, some games are designed to blur that boundary. This essay, comprised of several selections from the authors’ book Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, investigates the complex ways in which games interact with their cultural environment. Focusing on these questions from a game design viewpoint, the essay begins by identifying key concepts related to these questions and ends with detailed design analyses of three games that play with the cultural environments in which the games take place.