A play of bodies: a phenomenology of videogame experience

Keogh, B 2015, A play of bodies: a phenomenology of videogame experience, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A play of bodies: a phenomenology of videogame experience
Author(s) Keogh, B
Year 2015
Abstract Videogames require robust yet flexible methods and vocabularies of critical analysis that appreciate both the textual and embodied pleasures of players. Such analysis cannot start with the player’s intentions as an autonomous user nor with the videogame as a stable object; rather, it must account for the dynamic interplay between videogame hardware, sensorial perception, and audiovisual and haptic representations. If it is to understand how a particular videogame is engaged as both textual artefact and embodied practice, such analysis must be concerned with not just what the player does with the videogame, but what the videogame does with the player.

This thesis forwards a phenomenology of videogame experience to account for how the player and the videogame incorporate each other in reflexive cycles that mediate presence, attention, perception, and agency. It does not hope to understand videogames either ‘as narratives’ or ‘as games’ but as particular amalgamations of existing and nascent media and forms—it hopes to understand videogames as videogames. It explores videogame play as a convergence of eyes-on-screens, ears-at-speakers, and muscles-against-interfaces to interrogate the limits of current game studies approaches that often obscure rich commonalities between videogames and other media forms. Drawing upon phenomenology, posthumanism, and cyborg theory, and embedded in detailed and multifaceted analyses of various videogames on different platforms as played, this thesis develops nuanced understandings of how the player and the videogame come together during play to form particular modes of embodiment through which a videogame work is both interpreted and perceived.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Keyword(s) videogames
game studies
cyborg theory
textual analysis
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Created: Fri, 06 Nov 2015, 07:53:36 EST by Denise Paciocco
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