Death loop as a feature

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

16 Scopus Citations
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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationGame Studies
Volume12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Abstract

Assuming its premise in the experience of being stuck in a death loop in Fallout: New Vegas (2010), this essay theorises the possibilities of interpretation in single-player computer game play. This amounts to a critical examination of the paradigmatic approach of interpreting computer games as games accessible for analysis and critique through 'research-play'. Comparing the role of rules in the activity facilitated by 'playable artifacts' like single-player computer games or pinball machines to rules in traditional, or more accurately 'œtransmedial'{combining square below} (Juul 2003) games, the essay questions the feasibility of considering computer games 'games' and suggests that a defining characteristic of 'playable artifacts' is to be found from the relationship between materiality and process. Situating playable artifacts in the context of post-phenomenological philosophy of technology, the essay differentiates between attitudes of player, designer, and a scholar. The essay argues that analysis of playable artifacts as 'g̃ames' is reductive and can be justified only from the perspectives of a player and a game design researcher. Based on analysis of how playable artifacts become meaningful through material resistance, the essay reconfirms the feasibility of the methodological programme of 'research-play' while calling for its re-contextualization in relation to authentic interpretation and empathy. © 2001 - 2012 Game Studies.

Research Area(s)

  • Bug, Fallout: New Vegas, Feature, Interpretation, Ludology, Materiality, Phenomenology, Technology

Citation Format(s)

Death loop as a feature. / Leino, Olli Tapio.

In: Game Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2012.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review