Agency in and around videogames

Bodi, Bettina (2021) Agency in and around videogames. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis conceptualises player agency in avatar-based videogames as an affordance of game design (Gibson 1979). By examining how agency is discussed in different discourses surrounding videogames, such as those of game studies and game design, it puts forward a multidimensional heuristic framework for conceptualising agency in avatar-based games. Game studios with a particular design focus that draw on ‘game design lineages’ (Bateman and Zagal 2018) feature as case studies to demonstrate the analytical power of this framework, examining how agency is designed, and how developers discuss how it is designed. The combined methods of textual and paratextual analysis provides insight not only into how game designers think about agency but also into how design intentions can translate into features of the released game. Such an approach facilitates a way of looking at agency as designed, which is informed by the vocabularies of academic discussions concerning videogames, as well as the language used to refer to these phenomena by industry practitioners, thereby grounding abstract theory in production practices and discourses.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Evans, Elizabeth
Thon, Jan-Noel
Keywords: Agency, videogames, avatars, textual analysis, paratextual analysis
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Item ID: 64777
Depositing User: Bódi, Bettina
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 04:40
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2021 04:40

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