Notes Toward a Sense of Embodied Gameplay


DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play
The University of Tokyo, September, 2007
Volume: 4
ISBN / ISNN: ISSN 2342-9666

Despite the increasing maturity of the field of videogame studies, central concepts such as gameplay remain underdeveloped, implicit in many theories yet without clear investigation of the underlying assumptions informing approaches to understanding it. Understanding gameplay as a particular form of interactivity, the approach taken here focuses on the notion of embodiment, drawing on Dourish's work concerning embodied interaction. The implication of this approach is a focus on the concept of interface, which is developed here beyond the meanings adapted from design and production contexts towards a more generalised yet more powerful understanding that sees it as a particular site or space of interaction between two parties - the player and the game. An exploratory theoretical model of embodied gameplay is developed through a synthesis of Dourish's application of various phenomenological theories to interactivity, Gibson's ecological approach to perception, and Järvinen et al's approach to the concept of flow.