Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Evening Keynote - Ole Ertløv Hansen

"Games should also be studied within existing fields and depts ... game studies should contain media studies, aesthetics, sociology etc" (Aarseth). How???

"Enough to upgrade traditional theories?" (Juel)

"The tendency to describe new phenomena in terms of old ones" (Tynjanov).

Research activities within the humanities (conservative approach)
- Historical (Synchronous - diachronic)
- Analytical (Description - systemization - evaluation)
- Theoretcial (Vocabulary - concepts and relations)
- "Rhetoric" (Design and construction, residing in practices, pragmatical approach, where things are created)

Lennart & Lotta: Discussions around the craft or the tactile aspect of the material, which should not be ignored. The knowledge about the material and the tools. Lars: The poetic function (Roman Jacobson)??. No, according to Ole.

Some vocabularies and theories
- Sociology - Empirical methodology and games, social activities and social constructions within and around games)
- Philosophy and aesthetics - Ontology and epistemology of games, aesthetics and games, ethics and games etc
- Psychology - Cognition, emotion, perception, and the experience of games etc
- Game Design - Innovative game mechanics, game worlds, and
- Other approaches (not included above)

How to apply already existing theories to a new field
- Analogy (Understanding the object by the identification of similarities)
- Application (Understanding the object as another example that confirms the theories)
- Articulation (The existing theory go into a dialogue with the object in order to extract the parts with which the theories cannot comply)

Lotta: "Insecurity when existing theories "are not enough." Patrick: "A part of the creative process. Evaluate and perhaps reject."

What is the object of study?
- The game (the artifact)
- The gaming situation (Interaction between the game and the gamer. In the "now." The game-play. The "magic circle.")
- The player or the context of the game
(- Using the game to study something else)
(- the in-game-space vs. player-space - Juul)

The Cognitive Turn - the Situation - Articulated
- Cognitive theory articulated within film studies
- first wave: The viewer is doing cognitive operations
- second wave: The viewer is an emotional and feeling entity
- third wave: The viewer is a functional piece of biology
- Cognitive theory articulated within computer games
- The player is actively involved and the relation between competences and skills is made explicit — flow
- Emotionering — "creating feeling," self-esteem and the complexity of simulation
- The player is a functional piece of biology

The case of identification and immersion
- The loss of the self (in an avatar)
- The active construction of a POV (point of view, focalization, ideological construction)
- Simulation Theory (Philosophy. How do we understand other people? Empathy. Put ourselves in someone's shoes.)
- Mirror Neurons (..that plays out the scenario in the mind. Betty: If the person understands it, if it gives meaning.)

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