Essay research, Videogames.

Newman, J, (2004), Videogames: Oxon; Routledge

Chapter 2 Page 16-17 Why do players play?

A player wants: challenge, immersion and expects to do, not to watch from a game. “Players want to work for their rewards.”

Newman quotes a passage from Rouse on page 17

– “Once a player is into a game they don’t want to be snapped out of it.”

There are a few components of games that make the player lose immersion with the game, these are explored by Newman. The GUI(graphical user interface) makes the player lack immersion with the game; “If the GUI is not designed to be transparent and to fit in with the rest of the game art it will stick out”. This could be interesting to explore within the essay, as this is something that decreases the amount of immersion.

4 distinct form of games:

  • Agon – competition
  • Alea – chance and randomness
  • Ilinx – pleasure is derived from movement
  • Mimicry – simulation, RP

Page 26 – Video games and interactivity.

“Video game experience is in fact, the product of a complex interplay of elements each demanding and facilitating different degrees and types of participation and activity”.

Games encompass spatial challenges – space invaders, you are placed as the sole defense, you have to remove the enemy – clearing the space and making it habitable/safe.

Possible title: Videogames immersive value through the narrative development.

Target audience – ‘the majority of console game players are 18 years and older’ does this affect the structure of the narrative?

Chapter 5 – Videogame structure.

Non-interactivity in the interactive video game. – This chapter outlines some of the parts of games that lack full immersion of the player.

“Videogames are defined by its focus on player activity.”

Cut scenes remove the player from participating involvement which means you lose the immersion.

Breaks and intermissions between levels are a staple of videogames – why is this? Cut scenes aren’t always counter=productive.

Levels, stages and mini games etc offer “different types of setting, action, location and even representational styles”.


Subtle things are often important – the fact that “an enemy flashing white when hit by the player’s weapon is actually taking damage and not blocking or evading in some way.”, this is important because it shows tha the game mechanics and dynamics need to be clearly outlined for new players or similar to another game for existing players. Experience of games allows the player to know and expect key dynamics, i.e. visual clues that enemies are weak to specific weapons or have weak spots. Does this mean that games give experience that exists within reality and is transferable throughout games within a genre? The knowledge that a certain enemy is weak to a specific thing could refer to the reality that as human beings we have weak spots – vital organs etc.

Gameplay varieties – Super Mario is defined as a platform game yet it is varied with levels – you get a flying cap and now you can fly.

Immersion interface within games, controller is both uncomfortable yet a barrier to success.

Essay intro plan – Write about key immersion theory lead into how this works in games.

Is the non-consistent interactivity a good thing?

Page 77 – Level differentiation, Boss battles.

resilient foes that act as more of a challenge to the player. This is due to their ‘unique attack and defense patterns and their particular weaknesses.’

“The boss represents the controlled climax to a particular sequence of thematically and aesthetically related levels.” – this builds progression and development into a game.

Levels are the structure of a game – each one bringing a new set of enemies.

Page 82 – Between Levels

Cut scenes – why do they exist – they bring a lot of distraction to the immersion as the player is no longer in control. Seamlessness and continuous play are important to the immersion; “video games play must be about unbroken interaction”. Periods of ‘downtime’ and non-interaction inflict on the overall experience of the game.

Chapter 6 – Narrative and play. Audiences and players.

Rouse (2001) states that “video game engagement shifts from ‘interactive, participatory play’ to ‘passive, detached watching'”. It is players who breathe life into and sense of videogames.


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