Video Games and the Mind

Essays on Cognition, Affect and Emotion


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About the Book

Can a video game make you cry? Why do you relate to the characters and how do you engage with the storyworlds they inhabit? How is your body engaged in play? How are your actions guided by sociocultural norms and experiences? Questions like these address a core aspect of digital gaming—the video game experience itself—and are of interest to many game scholars and designers. With psychological theories of cognition, affect and emotion as reference points, this collection of new essays offers various perspectives on how players think and feel about video games and how game design and analysis can build on these processes.

About the Author(s)

Bernard Perron is a professor of film and game studies at the University of Montreal. He has edited, co-edited and written many essays and books on film and video game theories as well as on horror films and horror video games.

Felix Schröter is a media studies scholar in Hamburg, Germany. He works as a research assistant at the University of Hamburg with a focus on cognitive theory, game studies and transmedial narratology.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Bernard Perron and Felix Schröter

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9909-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2627-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Video Games, Cognition, Affect and Emotion
(Bernard Perron and Felix Schröter) 1

1. Narrative Comprehension and Video Game Storyworlds
(Jan-Noël Thon) 15
2. My Avatar and Me: Toward a Cognitive Theory of Video Game Characters (Felix Schröter) 32
3. Hit It: Core Cognitive Structures and the Fighting Game
(Andreas Gregersen) 53
4. It’s Not Just Hands: Embodiment Aspects in Gameplay
(Jana Rambusch) 71

5. Expressive and Affective Gameplay with Technologies Rikke
(Toft Nørgård) 87
6. Games of the Heart and Mind: Affective Ludology and the  Development of Emotionally Aware Player Experiences
(Lennart E. Nacke, Rina R. Wehbe, Samantha N. Stahlke and Pedro A. Noguiera) 105
7. Flying on the Ground: Driving for Pleasure in Digital Racing Simulation Games
(Simon Niedenthal) 126
8. Affective Spaces and Audiovisual Metaphors in Video Games
(Kathrin Fahlenbrach) 141

9. Video Game Sadness from Planetfall to Passage
(Jonathan Frome) 158
10. Representing Childhood, Triggering Emotions: Child Characters in Video Games
(Susanne Eichner) 174
11. Emotions in Video Games: Are You Concerned?
(Bernard Perron) 189

About the Contributors 211
Index 215

Book Reviews & Awards

“An equally rich and engaging reading for academics, students, and gamers.”—Projections