From Video Games to Virtual Reality (and Back). Introducing HACS (Historical-Analytical Comparative System) for the Documentation of Experiential Configurations in Gaming History


DiGRA '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference
Melbourne, Australia: Digital Games Research Association, July, 2017
Number: 1
Volume: 14
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

This paper introduces a comparative analytical system that seeks to document the evolution of the game experience in the history of video games. Following an overview of formal and ontological inspections of games, ten interactive figures – domains of human agency typically modelled by game systems – are presented. The study of figures in art history traces the emergence and resurgence of different types of characters, poses or scenes, and indeed this is the meaning that is ascribed to the term here; games propose different “roles” depending on the specific ways they model this agency. These concepts are ideal to segment any game experience, and each of these segments are then analyzed with four conceptual categories: three layers of interface (the manipulation, mapping and feedback layers), and the ludic modes of engagement associated with each figure. The presentation of the system is encapsulated in an argument about the recurring fascination for VR technology in the world of video game; the analytical system will be able to document the actual integration of such elements along with other important parts of the ludic mediation