The rapid expansion of video gaming in an internet-using society has brought on a renewed focus on the phenomenon of video game addiction. Despite this focus, there remains a crucial absence of consensus over the diagnostic criteria of video game addiction. Currently both psychological and behavioral interventions regard screen time as an indicator of video game addiction. However, these interventions are challenged by substantial literature that increasingly regard time to not be a predictor of addiction. To build onto the work that has been done, this paper argues that time is an inadequate criterion in which to ascertain video game addiction, proposing that a physiological-based criteria be used in conjunction with contextualized understandings of video game dynamics to approach video game addiction. This realignment is all the more pressing as video games begin a transition from a leisure activity to its current orientation as a viable career option.
Contemporary climate change research today speculates that life as we know it is at an end (Scranton, 2015). As planetary conditions optimal to the survival of the human species are undergoing profound transformation, the question of what future awaits the human species has become both prominent and pervasive. Extending into the speculative art of video games, this post-apocalyptic mis-en-scene today constitutes something of a familiar reference point for gamers, who might find in such popular games as Left 4 Dead (2008) and Gears of War (2006) a particular speculation on survival where life as we know it encounters the destructive forces of nuclear devastation, epidemic, invasion, or any one of a myriad catastrophic scenarios now cliché in the medium. Yet, the ways that video games think survival nevertheless constitutes a speculative fulcrum on which is dramatized both “world without-us”, or rather, an impersonal hostile world unremitting to the desires of ‘man’, and the human that might survive it (Thacker, 2011). Significant amongst such speculative games are the massive post-apocalyptic worlds of Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4, each of which evokes the question of how we might survive after nuclear catastrophe and its transformation of the planet into a foreboding ecology populated by mutated animals, radioactive dead-zones, loosely organized bandit hordes, and nomads foraging the resource scarce post-apocalyptic future.
Avatar customization and self-representation in games has been widely studied. In this paper, I propose the use of micro-autoethnography as a complementary methodology in such studies. I propose such an approach, theoretically and methodologically informed by Actor-Network Theory, as a way for researchers to situate themselves within their own studies of identity and play in games. I present a micro-autoethnographic study in which I, the researcher, attempt to create the same avatar in eight different Character Creation Interfaces (CCIs), otherwise known as a "trans-ludic" avatar. Implications for a micro-autoethnographic approach to avatar and identity research are discussed.
Diverse representations of bodies in videogames has become a point of contention among developers and consumers alike, which has lead scholars to question why videogame production is breaking with trends of recognizable, anthropocentric characters in favor of “diverse” bodies. This paper contends that the overarching reason for this is that the capitalist socius (Deluze and Guattari, 1986) has become more readily equipped to be able to monetize and streamline diversity away from being an act of subversion and into an easily manipulatable source of revenue. In examining how the capitalist socius overlays onto the videogame production process, a few things become apparent. Because videogame production operates within the capitalist socius, their goals are the similar: to become autopoietic (able to reach a point of homeostasis in which the entity is able to reproduce and maintain its structural integrity) and to turn any and all resources into sources of capital generation. The expectation of bodies working in these regimes is to be as non-threatening and as pliable to new modes of subjectivation and capital generation as possible, but that means that bodies must undergo certain political transformations to adhere to these needs of the capitalist socius and videogame production process. As with any hegemonic structure, there are pockets of resistance that look to buck the current trends of subjectivation and capital generation. The form of resistance this paper examines is personal-games and affective experiences, but as with most things pertaining to the capitalist socius, personal-games are dangerously close to being swept up, monetized, and crunched down.
How Games Move Us: Emotion By Design is an introduction to the ways in which digital games and game studies are slowly encroaching on other territory; in this case, Isbister looks at the intersection of psychology, kinesthetics, design and games and how new notions from these fields alter our understanding of games as a whole. The book is aimed at changing how people talk about and understand digital games, not only as a technical object but as a social medium. Isbister readily accomplishes her goal of highlighting the ways that people can affect and are affected by games, though at times, the book struggles with its strong reliance on examples and dated references to the field of game studies and psychology.