A Framework of Player Objects in Virtual Environments


Based on data gathered from an analysis of 99 digital single-player games, this paper presents a framework named the PO-VE model for analysing player objects in virtual environments. Player objects are understood as objects integrated in the virtual environment which constitute the player’s point of control and thus frame their actions in the game system. A necessary distinction is made between player object and the presentation of characterisation, separating the notion of “character” from player object, which yields certain analytical benefits. The PO-VE model, which consists of 16 different categories and thus provides a high-granularity analysis tool, is presented using two primary examples from the data set – The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and VVVVVV – and discussed in relation to its potential applications, limitations, and contributions to the more theoretical domain of game studies.