“PLAY IS PULLING THE GODDAMN TRIGGER”: DIGITAL GAME VIDEO CONTENT PRODUCERS AND THE BOUNDARIES OF GAMESPACE

Theo Plothe

Abstract


Within digital game studies, theorizing the connections and overlap between gamespace and the physical world is often an area of contention. While many scholars draw strict boundaries between the virtual world of the game and activities outside of it, others have attempted to explore ways that game activities expand beyond these strict boundaries, using concepts like the magic circle (Huizinga, 1950; Castranova, 2005). Yet these theories of gamespace do not take into account the expansive influence or reach of games through media convergence. This paper presents results of a qualitative study that investigates the experiences and motivations of individuals who create remix videos from digital game characters, content, and situations. In exploring the ways that these game creators represent play and manipulate the materiality of the games themselves, this project argues for an expansive definition of gamespace. Games are playful and built for interaction; this interaction, the author contends, supports a participatory mindset, encouraging gamers to continue to play with the digital game content. In making these videos, these creators are still playing the game. This work theorizes gamespace for the age of media convergence, considering how gamespace expands beyond the game console and the screen through participatory media.

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