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Title: Digital games as designed experience : reframing the concept of immersion
Authors: Calleja, Gordon
Keywords: Level design (Computer science)
Video games
Computer games
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Calleja, G. (2007). Digital games as designed experience : reframing the concept of immersion (Doctoral thesis). Victoria University of Wellington.
Abstract: Games are a complex social phenomenon which seem to elude holistic categorisation. Attempts at formulating stable, universal definitions of games seem to always fall short of the mark, leaving important aspects of particular games unaccounted for. Yet these omissions can often be as instructive as the ground covered by attempts at definition, reminding us of the multiple perspectives that are relevant to understanding the role of games in social reality. This thesis will take as its object of study the player experience of graphically represented digital games. It will focus specifically on various forms of engagement with digital games, ranging from general motivations and attractions to a detailed analysis of moment by moment involvement in game-play. An important component of game involvement is the shortening of the subjective distance between player and game environment, often yielding a sensation of inhabiting the space represented on screen. This phenomenon is known by the terms “presence” and “immersion”. The latter is the more commonly used term in popular and academic discussions of game engagement, but its widespread use has diminished its analytical value. The term presence is similarly affected, with the main figures in the field of presence theory often using the term with divergent or even conflicting applications. This thesis will therefore examine the application of these two terms and propose an alternative conceptualization of the phenomenon they are being used to describe, which will be represented by the term “incorporation” and a model of game-play which I am naming The Digital Game Experience Model. The performance of a game occurs in two, often simultaneous, domains: the player‟s subjective or noetic dimension, and the visible practice of playing. Rather than viewing digital games as a set of formal rules, the thesis emphasizes their status as powerful forms of aesthetically designed experience that go beyond assumptions of games as bounded domains defined by a specified set of rules. In this conception of games “the virtual” is viewed as being a constituent part of “the real”, challenging the commonly held assumption that the two stand in opposition to each other. The centrality of human subjectivity in the game process lies at the very heart of the challenges game theorists face in the process of their analysis, which The Digital Game Experience Model is intended to advance.
Appears in Collections:Foreign dissertations - InsDG

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