Pre-Conference: Experiencing Digital Games: Use, Effects & Culture of Gaming
Plato College of Higher Education, Istanbul
In the past decades, digital games have diversified into a broad range of forms each with their specific interactions and experiences: from rapid button mashing in shooter games to group chat in role-playing games, to wild dancing in party games and to actual running around in a city and engaging with the environment in location-based mobile games. Thus digital games have increasingly come to be seen as generators of experiences rather than just sources of mediated content.
Understanding digital game experience presents an important challenge for present-day communication research. Not just is there a plethora of different types of games, the very fact that an experience occurs between the player and the mediated content implies that characteristics of the user, device, (social) context and culture at large need to be taken into account. In this regard, traditional use and effects models from communication studies and media psychology have proven useful but still fall short in describing and mapping the specificities of digital gaming. Digital game-specific theories and analytical frameworks on the other hand have often had a hard time linking up with mainstream communication and media research as they are often perceived as too idiosyncratic for use beyond digital gaming.
The pre-conference Experiencing Digital Games aims to bridge this gap and open a vital discussion on the use, effects and culture of digital gaming. To enable a broad discussion on the gaming experience, different disciplinary approaches, methods and perspectives are welcomed, including production research, content analyses, effects and use research, cultural analysis, and design-oriented approaches.
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TWG Digital Games Research