Advanced

The semiotics of the game controller

Blomberg, Johan LU (2018) In Game Studies 18(2).
Abstract

An important question for video game research is how to characterize the video game experience. One common view emphasizes that players are cognitively able to operate with the game world as the experiential point of reference leading to states of "immersion, "spatial presence", or "engagement". A different view is that the player is also embodied and situated in the actual world, entailing that the video game experience also involves physical preconditions like hardware for playing. One aspect that has not been clearly thematized and analyzed is the contribution of the video game controller. I propose that the controller is not just an input device that lets the player act in the video game, but to play a video game is to act both on... (More)

An important question for video game research is how to characterize the video game experience. One common view emphasizes that players are cognitively able to operate with the game world as the experiential point of reference leading to states of "immersion, "spatial presence", or "engagement". A different view is that the player is also embodied and situated in the actual world, entailing that the video game experience also involves physical preconditions like hardware for playing. One aspect that has not been clearly thematized and analyzed is the contribution of the video game controller. I propose that the controller is not just an input device that lets the player act in the video game, but to play a video game is to act both on the controller and in the video game through the controller. It has the the dual character of requiring the player to act in the actual world while simultaneously providing the player with the link to the video game. This duality is similar to signs, which makes it possible and fertile to analyze game-controller pairings according to general semiotic principles.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Engagement, Game controller, Semiotic resources, Signs, Video game experience
in
Game Studies
volume
18
issue
2
article number
3
publisher
Game Studies
external identifiers
  • scopus:85056143286
ISSN
1604-7982
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5941f3aa-86ca-4d5d-a0da-7d6c00501885
alternative location
http://gamestudies.org/1802/articles/blomberg
date added to LUP
2018-11-22 15:14:23
date last changed
2020-03-24 06:30:45
@article{5941f3aa-86ca-4d5d-a0da-7d6c00501885,
  abstract     = {<p>An important question for video game research is how to characterize the video game experience. One common view emphasizes that players are cognitively able to operate with the game world as the experiential point of reference leading to states of "immersion, "spatial presence", or "engagement". A different view is that the player is also embodied and situated in the actual world, entailing that the video game experience also involves physical preconditions like hardware for playing. One aspect that has not been clearly thematized and analyzed is the contribution of the video game controller. I propose that the controller is not just an input device that lets the player act in the video game, but to play a video game is to act both on the controller and in the video game through the controller. It has the the dual character of requiring the player to act in the actual world while simultaneously providing the player with the link to the video game. This duality is similar to signs, which makes it possible and fertile to analyze game-controller pairings according to general semiotic principles.</p>},
  author       = {Blomberg, Johan},
  issn         = {1604-7982},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  publisher    = {Game Studies},
  series       = {Game Studies},
  title        = {The semiotics of the game controller},
  url          = {http://gamestudies.org/1802/articles/blomberg},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2018},
}