Video games have enjoyed sustained economic and cultural success for nearly four decades, with their success often attributed to their interactive nature: passive audiences become active users with a vested stake in the on-screen experience. However, as games continue their evolution from singular challenge/skill puzzles to narrative-rich virtual worlds, the manner in which we play and are affected by this play has been called into question. Specifically, given that users do not have an unlimited ability to process stimuli, one might challenge the implicit assumption that gamers interact with and are influenced by all on-screen content in a similar fashion. The following presentation outlines emerging theory and research into the ways in which gamers attend to different on-screen content, and how this implicit and explicit attention can impact the overall entertainment experience.
(An audio recording of the talk will be made available at: http://iutelecomgrad.wordpress.com/)