Is it in the Game? Reconsidering play spaces, game definitions, theming and sports videogames

Crawford, G ORCID: 2015, 'Is it in the Game? Reconsidering play spaces, game definitions, theming and sports videogames' , Games and Culture, 10 (6) , pp. 571-592.

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From the very first days of digital gaming, sport-themed videogames have been a constant and ever-popular presence. However, compared with many other genres of games, sports-themed videogames have remained relatively under-research. Using the case of ‘sports videogames’ this paper advocates a critical and located approach to understanding videogames and gameplay. Unlike many existing theorisations of gameplay, such as the ‘magic circle’ (Huizinga 1949 [1938]), which theorise play as a break from ordinary life, this paper argues for a consideration of play as a continuation of ‘the control of the established order’ (Lefebvre (1991 [1974]: 383). It argues that many videogames, and in particular sports videogames, can be understood as ‘themed’ spaces; which share similarities to other themed locations, such as fast-food restaurants and theme parks. These are ‘non-places’ (Augé 1995) themed to provide a sense of individuality, control and escape in a society that increasingly offers none.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Games and Culture
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1555-4120
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: G Crawford
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2015 11:33
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 18:56

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