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Title: Play the story : embodiment and emplacement in the video game
Author: Harvey, Colin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 2926
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
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In this PhD thesis I construct a method for the analysis of video game media based upon the concepts of affect and the body of relations. I explore the interrelationship between play and story in the video game medium through an approach that emphasizes the connected and contingent ideas of embodiment and emplacement, as defined by the cultural studies critic Chris Rojek (2007). I suggest that game play needs to be understood as simultaneously processural and relational. I argue that the body of relations can be used as a means to understand a player's embodiment and emplacement in relation to video game media. The body of relations is constituted by the physiological, autobiographical, cultural, social, materialist, energetic, and economic aspects through which video games and video game players are constructed. Each element of the body of relations exists in a synergistic, dynamic relationship with the other aspects of the body of relations. In talking about embodiment I utilise the concept of `affect', the drives and motivations that characterise all human endeavour. The version of affect I employ was originally outlined by Baruch Spinoza and has more recently been re-conceptualised by the contemporary neuroscientist Antonio Damasio (2003). I connect this definition of affect with the phenomenological approach as outlined by Maurice Merleau-Ponty (2007) and the idea of the 'extended mind' of Andy Clark and David Chalmers (2002). The resultant method suggests the necessity of conceiving `configuration' - the process by which a player interacts and interprets video game media - in affective as well as relational terms (Aarseth 1997; Dovey and Kennedy 2006; Eskelinen 2001; Giddings 2007; Moulthrop 2004; Murray 2005; Woolgar 1991).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available