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Malaby, T. M. (2006). Stopping play: A new approach to games. Social Science Research Network, Retrieved August 11, 2006, from http://ssrn.com/abstract=922456 
Added by: sirfragalot (08/11/2006 06:59:06 AM)   Last edited by: sirfragalot (10/04/2006 11:09:20 AM)
Resource type: Web Article
BibTeX citation key: Malaby2006
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Categories: General, Narrative
Keywords: Contingency, Narrative
Creators: Malaby
Collection: Social Science Research Network
Resources citing this (Bibliography: WIKINDX Master Bibliography)
Views: 3/481
Abstract
Games have intruded into popular awareness to an unprecedented level, and scholars, policy makers, and the media alike are beginning to consider how games might offer insight into fundamental questions about human society. But in the midst of this opportunity for their ideas to be heard, it is game scholars who are selling games short. In their rush to highlight games' importance, they have tended toward an unsustainable exceptionalism, seeing games as fundamentally set apart from everyday life. This view casts gaming as a subset of play, and therefore – like play – as an activity that is inherently separable, safe, and pleasurable. Before we can confront why games are important, and make use of them to pursue the aims of policy and knowledge, we must rescue games from this framework and develop an understanding of them unburdened by the category of play, one that will both accord with the experience of games by players themselves, and bear the weight of the new questions being asked about them and about society. To that end, I offer here an understanding of games that eschews exceptionalist, normatively-loaded approaches in favor of one that stresses them as a characterized by process. In short, I argue for seeing games as domains of contrived contingency, capable of generating emergent practices and interpretations. This approach enables us to understand how games are, rather than set apart from everyday life, instead intimately connected with it. With this approach in place, I conclude by discussing two key recent developments in games, persistence and complex, implicit contingency, that together may account for why some online games are now beginning to approach the texture of everyday life.
Added by: sirfragalot  Last edited by: sirfragalot
Notes
Argues that games should not be viewed as play, they are indistinguishable from life (and other aspects of life such as work). Many cultures do not make the distinction between work and play.

Among other things, the article provides some good reasons as to why games should not analyzed as narrative and are best analyzed with other methods.
Added by: sirfragalot  Last edited by: sirfragalot
Quotes
pp.5-6   "Speaking very broadly (and a little unfairly), ludology focused upon the "gameness" of games ... they fell into the trap of exceptionalism, treating games as special and distinct activities, fundamentally different from everyday life ... The narratologists, for their part (again, speaking very broadly), got another aspect right which is that games involve the construction of meaning. The problem is that, following this approach, one can end up focusing on the "story" (especially in a broad sense -- plot, etc) at the expense of the experience of contingency itself ... That is, in contrast to the ludologists' focus on experience, the narratologists where [sic] overly concerned with form, especially the extent to which the product of a game experience can become an object of reflection and interpretation."   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Contingency Narrative
p.9   "Games ... are about contriving and calibrating multiple contingencies to produce a mix of predictable and unpredictable outcomes."   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Contingency
p.9   "...making a game is not, as some narratologists would have it, about making a "story", it is about creating the complex, implicit, contingent conditions wherein the texture of engaged human experience can happen."   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Contingency Narrative
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