Player and Avatar
The Affective Potential of Videogames
About the Book
Do you make small leaps in your chair while attempting challenging jumps in Tomb Raider? Do you say “Ouch!” when a giant hits you with a club in Skyrim? Have you had dreams of being inside the underwater city of Rapture?
Videogames cast the player as protagonist in an unfolding narrative. Like actors in front of a camera, gamers’ proprioception, or body awareness, can extend to onscreen characters, thus placing them “physically” within the virtual world. Players may even identify with characters’ ideological motivations.
The author explores concepts central to the design and enjoyment of videogames—affect, immersion, liveness, presence, agency, narrative, ideology and the player’s virtual surrogate: the avatar. Gamer and avatar are analyzed as a cybernetic coupling that suggests fulfillment of Atonin Artaud’s vision of the “body without organs.”
About the Author(s)
David Owen. Series Editor Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
Series: Studies in Gaming
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Chapter One. Digital Like Me 23
Chapter Two. The Gamer as Cyborg 75
Chapter Three. The Illusion of Agency in a Virtual Environment 109
Chapter Four. Winning the Hearts and Thumbs of the People 158
Chapter Notes 209
Works Cited 213
Book Reviews & Awards
“An engaging book that approaches the interactions of players and video games from an interdisciplinary collection of perspectives…approachable, topical, and well sourced…recommended”—Choice; “The author analyzes players’ performances of narrative, affect, and identity through avatars in videogames, to explore gaming’s potential to support or subvert different political, social, and personal agendas”—ProtoView.