Discussing the experience–and meaning–of video game interaction

We often talk about video games the way we talk about cinema, but games principally draw us into their worlds via avenues not available to traditional, narrative media–such as offering players, in a stylized fashion, the kind of agency and interaction we often experience in everyday life. In a video essay for the online media journal [in]Transition, scholar Ian Bryce Jones explores how the concepts of affordance and effectivity (terms coined by J.J. Gibson to discuss our own embodiment in the world) operate within games–and how games conspire to embed us in digital worlds as agentive beings that transcend (or at least pre-empt) traditional notions of identification through narrative causality or visual representation. I had the profound pleasure of peer reviewing Jones’ excellent video essay and contributed some thoughts on the topic (one that very much animates my own research into interaction and the experience of gameplay). Check out the video and my remarks here: http://mediacommons.org/intransition/special-effectivities.

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