Technologies of Captivation: Videogames and the attunement of affect

James Ash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyses the skills and knowledges involved in multiplayer first-person shooting games, specifically Call of Duty 4 for the Xbox 360 games console. In doing so, it argues that the environments of first-person shooting games are designed to be intense spaces that produce captivated subjects – users who play attentively for long periods of time. Developing Heidegger’s concept of attunement and Stiegler’s account of retention, the article unpacks the somatic and sensory skills involved in videogame play and discusses how videogame environments cultivate a sense of captivation. In conclusion the article reflects on the politics of captivation for the bodies that engage with these games through the idea of vulnerability as an ‘opening of the body’s capacity for sense’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-51
JournalBody & Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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