Mind Games Extended : Understanding Gameplay as Situated Activity

Abstract: This thesis addresses computer gameplay activities in terms of the physical handling of a game, players’ meaning-making activities, and how these two processes are closely interrelated. It is examined in greater detail which role the body plays in gameplay, but also how gameplay is shaped by sociocultural factors outside the game, including different kind of tools and players’ participation in community practices. An important step towards an understanding of these key factors and their interaction is the consideration of gameplay as situated activity where players who actively engage with games are situated in both the physical world and the virtual in-game world. To analyse exactly how players interact with both worlds, two case studies on two different games have been carried out, and three different levels of situatedness are identifed and discussed in detail in this thesis, on the basis of existing theories within situated cognition research.

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