Untangling Gameplay: An Account of Experience, Activity and Materiality Within Computer Game Play

  • Olli Tapio LeinoEmail author
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 7)


In this chapter I discuss the notion of gameplay in the context of computer games. While the concept widely used within the discourses of game studies and game design, its definitions are less than satisfactory, often reducing the phenomenon to consequences of rules or interactivity. Assuming a premise from the colloquial use of the term as referring simultaneously to qualities of the player, the game artefact and the activity of play, I seek to establish a footing for the concept beyond its colloquial use. After inspecting the notion as a composite of the established terms game and play, I suggest that the description needs to be complemented with attention to the ways in which the both the activity and experience of gameplay are shaped by materiality. Trough an analysis informed by post-phenomenological philosophy of technology I establish the involved materiality as a game artefact. I describe how it is intertwined with the processual and subjective constituents of the phenomenon of gameplay, confirming the assumption that gameplay can be descibed as an ontological hybrid.


Computer Game Game Play Game Design Computer Game Play Technological Artefact 
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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Creative MediaCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong

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