I have published, with Garry Crawford and Steve Conway, the article ‘A feel for the game: Exploring gaming “experience” through the case of sports-themed video games‘ in Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.
Abstract: Video gaming is often understood and narrated as an ‘experience’, and we would suggest that this is particularly notable with sports-themed video games. However, we would argue that how the game experience is curated and consumed, and how this relates to wider social process and forces, is rarely given any detailed consideration within the existing game research literature. Hence, this article explores how game experiences can be understood and articulated around four key themes. First, we begin with the argument that video games connect with, but also lead, a wider social trend: understanding social reality as a set of designed experiences. The real is progressively becoming a repository of technologically mediated experiences, and the logic of video games is anticipating this process. Second, we suggest video games are translations of phenomenological worlds: When successful, key aspects of the meaning of things remain similar even as one moves between spaces, domains, mediums and platforms. Developers often seek to bring others’ experiences into a game environment, such as translating the geography and mechanisms of sporting locations and competitions into a game environment. Third, following this translation of meaning across domains, gamers often narrate their encounters with video games as they would with any other experience, such as winning the Champions League in Football Manager becomes recounted by gamers like any other achievement. Fourth, video games are interactive and explicit bodily experiences because they must be enacted in order to exist.