Games: art and play: De verbeelding van cultuur in games

Jef Folkerts

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Video games are made to entertain, but we can regard them as a form of culture as well. They tell something about the society in which they were created: through the imagination of designers, perspectives on society wind up in games, deliberately or not. On the other hand, games stimulate the imagination, which in turn can provoke gamers to reflect upon society. Nevertheless it is conceivable that gamers are not inclined to think about anything but the game, since this could hinder their enjoyment.
    But gamers are indeed prone to reflection on the world around us, about life, about good and evil. More than three-quarters of the gamers in this study acknowledges to do so once in a while. Opposed to what was expected, there is no difference between regular gamers and professionals like game critics and designers. It was assumed that the latter would display a greater tendency to reflect on the world around us, due to their professional viewpoint.
    More often than expected gamers went through an art experience while playing games. In the context of this study this means that ‘between the lines’ players have perceived comments regarding occurrences in narrative and play, that provoked them to reflect upon the world. There were no differences between mainstream games and indie-games in this regard. The assumption that most gamers would designate the exceptional visual design of games to label them as art finally was confirmed. This immediately illustrates the difference between the common aesthetic conception of art, and the art conception proposed in this study: the experience of a signification process which evokes reflection upon life.
    Translated title of the contributionGames: art and play
    Original languageDutch
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • van Heusden, Barend, Supervisor
    Award date30-Apr-2015
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-7745-2
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7744-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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