Video games

James Ash

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Video games are a fundamentally spatial medium. Whether playing a puzzle game on an iPhone or a Strategy game on a PC, upon picking up a controller one manipulates objects or moves through predesigned locations and spaces of some sort. However, little work has been undertaken that seriously considers space as a basic element of what video games are (exceptions include Nitsche 2009 and Borries et al. 2007). While the terms space and place are often used when discussing different games, there is almost no explicit reflection on what these terms might mean, or how video-game spaces are different or similar to other technological or mediated spaces. This is strange given the broad variety of disciplines that have studied games. As Malaby and Burke (2009) point out, video games have been studied by writers from a range of perspectives, including new media (Dovey and Kennedy 2006; Hjorth 2011), English literature (Aitkins 2003; 2007), game studies (Calleja 2011; Juul 2004), and cultural studies (Egenfeldt-Nielsen et al. 2008), using a range of theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis (Spittle 2011), phenomenology (Crick 2011), and postcolonial theory (Allen 2011). These perspectives have been complimented through a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods including ethnography (Nardi 2010), video ethnography (Giddings 2009; Ash 2010), questionnaires (Quandt et al. 2011), and interviews (Kelly 2004).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ashgate Research Companion to Media Geography
EditorsPaul Adams, Jim Craine, Jason Dittmer
Place of PublicationFarnham
ISBN (Print)9781409444022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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