Is it in the Game? reconsidering
game spaces, definitions and sports
videogames
Garry Crawford
Professor of Sociology
Twit...
• Paper presents a ‘located’ approach to understanding
sports ‘themed’ videogames
• Johan Huizinga (1949 [1938]): play in ...
The Manchester
Storm
Virtual Hockey?
• Video Gamers (2012)
• Online Gaming in Context (2011) (Crawford,
Gosling & Light eds)
Videogames and Video Gamers
• videogame worth globally over $74 billion (Hinkle 2011)
• the Entertainment Software Association suggests that
over half...
• William Higinbotham’s
Tennis for Two (1958)
• Pong
• ‘sport games’ are the third
best selling genre of
videogames (ESA 2...
• David Leonard (2006: 393): ‘the field of sports games
studies represents a barren wasteland of knowledge’
• ‘little ink ...
• Perron and Wolf (2009) agreed-upon terms
have been slow to develop
• Videogames as ‘media’ or ‘play’
• ‘Games Studies’ o...
• Ian Bogost (2013) ‘What Are
Sports Videogames?’
• ‘simulations’ — Caillois
(1962) games based upon
‘mimicry’
Defining Sp...
• EA Sports: ‘if it’s in the game, it’s in the game’
• Leonard (2006: 394): ‘sports [video] games
attempt to blur the line...
• Bogost (2013: 52, citing Adams 2006: 484):
‘sports [video] games simulate some aspect of a
sport’ (emphasis added)
• Bog...
• eSports
• FPS, such as Doom and
Counter-Strike
• strategy video wargames,
such as StarCraft
Defining Sports Videogames
• Games Studies scholars fixate upon the
videogame, or their play
• Chris Rojek’s (1995) Decentring Leisure
• videogames a...
• Henri Lefebvre in The Production of Space
(1994 [1974]: 383): though certain play and
leisure spaces might ‘appear on fi...
• Huizinga (1949 [1938]): ‘magic circle’
• ‘the arena, card-table, magic circle, the temple,
the stage and the screen’ (Hu...
• Mark Gottdiener (2000, 2001)
• theming involves the use of ‘advertising,
branding and other corporate efforts to stimula...
Top 20 best-selling games in 2012
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Activision
2. FIFA 13 - Electronic Arts
3. Assassin's Cr...
• theming is very evident
in sport more generally
• sports venues have
become increasingly
themed ‘non-places’
• Sandvoss ...
• videogames as geographical spaces: such as
Fuller and Jenkins (1995), Neilsen et al. (2008)
and Nitsche (2008) (to name ...
• videogames have simple and
repetitive mechanisms, often built
around an already pre-existing
game-engine
• Many of the m...
• Baudrillardian ‘hyperreality’?
• Leonard (2004):
exaggerated physics and
caricatured appearances in
the EA Sports Street...
• Maxine Feifer’s (1985) ‘post-
tourist’
• Compression of time and
waiting: Farmville and Flick
Kick Football
• Fastpass a...
• ‘Is it In the Game?’
• We need to be considering not what is in the
game, but rather what the game is in
Some concluding...
References for full paper:
Abercrombie, N. and Longhurst, B. (1998) Audiences, Sage, London.
Albrechtslund, A.M (2008) ‘Ga...
References for full paper:
Crawford, G. (2009) ‘Forget the Magic Circle (or Towards a Sociology of Video Games)’ keynote p...
References for full paper:
Kain, E. (2012) ‘“Sleeping Dogs” Review - Part One’ (Xbox 360), Forbes.com, Online at:
http://w...
Thank you for listening…
Prof. Garry Crawford,
University of Salford
Email: g.crawford@salford.ac.uk
Twitter: @CultSociolo...
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Is it In the Game? reconsidering game spaces, definitions, theming & sports video games

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From the very first days of digital gaming, sport-themed videogames have been a constant and ever-popular presence — from the earliest games, such as Tennis For Two and Pong, to today’s detailed and highly advanced games, such as FIFA and Football Manager. However, compared with many other genres of games, such as first person shooters (FPS) and massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), sports-themed games have remained relatively under-research. Therefore, using the case of ‘sports videogames’, this paper advocates a ‘located’ approach to understanding videogames and gameplay. Unlike many existing theorisations of gameplay, such as the ‘magic circle’ (Huizinga 1949 [1938]), which theorise play as a break from ordinary life, this paper argues for a Lefebvrian-based consideration of play as a continuation of ‘the control of the established order’ (Lefebvre (1994 [1974]: 383). In particular, it argues that many videogames, and in particular sports videogames, can be understood as ‘themed’ spaces; which share many similarities to other themed locations, such as fast-food restaurants and theme parks. These are ‘non-places’ (Augé 1995) themed to give (or more specifically ‘sell’) a sense of individuality, control and escape in a society that increasingly offers none of these.

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  • Many writers on videogames have often considered these as a break from ordinary life.
    This follows the argument of philosophers of play, such as the Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga (1949 [1938])…
    who theorised play as taking place in temporary spaces, where the usual norms and rules of wider society do not necessarily apply.
    However, the argument I will present here today, follows the work of French Marxist Henri Lefebvre (1994 [1974]: 383), which sees play and leisure as a continuation of ‘the control of the established order’.
    In particular, I argue that many videogames, and in particular sports videogames, can be understood as ‘themed’ spaces…
    This paper is not the first to apply the work of Lefebvre to videogames,
    But most have simply ‘cherry-picked’ key concepts from Lefebvre, without bringing with them their all-important wider Marxist social critique.
    Hence, this paper attempts to answer the call from Fraser (2012: 101) for ‘the need and importance of a more thorough reconciliation of video game studies with Lefebvrian spatial analysis’.
  • My interest in sports videogames actually began with my PhD, which focused on the followers of British ice hockey.
    One interesting thing that I noticed in my PhD interviews, was the number of fans who had got into ice hockey, by playing a digital version of this sport, such as NHL 96 on the Sega Megadrive.
    So, after Consuming Sport, I returned to the subject of sports videogames.
  • Over time, my work expanded to cover videogames and gamers more generally.
    Such as the book Video Gamers (2012) and Online Gaming in Context (2011).
    And then onto technology more generally.
    And some of my most recent research work has been on apps.
     
    Hence, this paper is a return to an earlier interest, which started in my PhD — of sports videogames.
  • Videogame sales in 2011 were worth globally over $74 billion (Hinkle 2011)
    The American Entertainment Software Association suggests that over half (58%) of Americans ‘play videogames’, and the figure would not be dissimilar for the UK (ESA 2013)
    Videogames have for many years outsold books in the UK (Bryce and Rutter 2006).
    And in 2012 videogames sales outstripped video sales (in all formats) for the first time (BBC 2012).
    Today, the videogame industry is one, if not the, UK largest and most profitable culture industry.
  • Sport constitutes one of the earliest and still best-selling genres of videogames.
    From the very beginning of videogame history, sport has proved a popular subject for gaming.
    One of (if not the) very first computer game was William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two — developed in 1958.
    One of the earliest and most influential home-based games was the table tennis themed game Pong.
    The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) suggests that ‘sport games’ are the third best selling genre of videogames (constituting over 15% of all video game sales in 2012)— only just behind the rather catch-all category of ‘action’ games, and the ever popular ‘shooting games’ (ESA 2013).
    In the UK, FIFA 2013 was the second best-selling game in 2012, only behind Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Dring 2013).
    While a similar pattern can be seen in the US, where Madden NFL 13 was the second biggest selling game behind the latest in the Call of Duty series (Cifaldi 2013).
    However, until fairly recently sports videogames have not received the kind of academic attention afforded many other genres of gaming.
  • As David Leonard (2006: 393) argued (less than a decade ago) that ‘the field of sports games studies represents a barren wasteland of knowledge’.
    Of course, things have progressed a little since Leonard made this statement.
    Videogame studies has been an area of rapid and massive expansion over the past decade or so.
    Consequently many genres and platforms of games previously ignored have started to be considered by scholars.
    However, still today, sports-themed video games appear comparatively under-researched when compared with many other genres and aspects of video gaming.
    As Consalvo et al. writing in 2013 argued, still relatively ‘little ink has been spilled on the topic of sports videogames’ (p.2).
    Consalvo et al. (2013) identify a small group of academics who were amongst the first to research and discussed (what they term) ‘sports videogames’.
    Here they kindly suggest that ‘Garry Crawford deserves much credit for being one of the first scholars to study sports videogames’ (2013: 3).
    And my first published paper on the subject was in Leisure Studies in 2005.
    So this conference really is returning to where it all began.
  • Perron and Wolf (2009) argue that a set of agreed-upon terms have been slow to develop throughout videogame research.
    Consider, for example, the variety of terms used by authors to describe their field of study, such as games, videogames, video games, computer games, digital games, and so forth.
    Firstly, this is confusing for both authors and readers like. As terms such as ‘computer’ and ‘video’ games are sometimes used interchangeably, or at others times to describe different kinds of games.
    But secondly, there is a much deeper and important debate here.
    For how we define videogames relates specifically to how we seek to understand and study them.
    For example, an early but important debate concerned whether we should understand video games should be understood as primarily an evolution of media
    Or as a form of play.
    In particular, those who advocate understanding videogames as a form of play, are often referred to as a Games Studies or ludology approach.
    A Games Studies approach has often been concerned with seeking to define and conceptualise the nature of games and play.
  • And it is very much from this perspective that Ian Bogost in 2013 asked the question of ‘What Are Sports Videogames?’
    Bogost (2013) highlights that ‘sports videogames’ are often characterised as ‘simulations’.
    A simulation, to use Caillois’ (1962) categorisation of game-types, suggests that these are games that is based upon ‘mimicry’.
    That is to say, a game that seeks to, as closely as possible, replicate certain pre-existing mechanisms or conventions.
    For example, videogames such as Sim City and Microsoft Flight Simulator (as their name’s would suggest) are examples of simulations.
  • Similarly, many sports videogames proclaim their ‘realism’ as one of their key selling points.
    For example, as the motto of the video game developer and publisher EA Sports declares ‘if it’s in the game, it’s in the game’.
    As Leonard (2006: 394) argues ‘sports [video] games attempt to blur the lines between the ballpark and the virtual stadium, the athlete and the virtual athlete’.
  • However, Bogost rightly highlights, that ‘sports videogames’ do not aim to simulate all areas of a sport, but rather tend to focus only on one, or a small number, of aspects and mechanisms.
    As Bogost (2013: 52, citing Adams 2006: 484) writes ‘sports [video] games simulate some aspect of a sport’ (emphasis added).
    Bogost’s solution is that we should understand sports videogames as something different and separate from the sports they reference to.
    Bogost suggests we should therefore understand sports videogames, not as simulations of a sport, but rather as sports in themselves.
    However, in attempting to categorise ‘sports videogames’ as ‘sports’, Bogost (as he readily admits himself) opens up a whole new can of worms.
    As he writes ‘sports are weird and hard to pin down’ (Bogost 2013: 52).
    As any sports scholar, or player or association seeking recognition for their pastime as a legitimate sport would testify, defining and categorising what a sport is, is extremely problematic.
    Hence, here is where Bogost’s argument falls down, particularly when he takes the rather weak line of argument to suggest that ‘just about anything can be taken seriously as…a sport’ (Bogost 2013: 53).
    Declaring that sports videogames can be a sport, because ‘anything can be’, tells us very little.
  • Of course, there is a debate to be had as to whether certain videogames and gameplay could be considered as a sport.
    However, this is not an argument I have the time to go into today.
    However, competitive video gaming (often referred to as ‘e-sports’) tends in the US and Europe to be linked most notably to the development of first person shooters, such as Doom and Counter-Strike.
    While in the East, and in particular Korea, competitive gameplay has tended to focus most keenly around strategy wargames such as StarCraft.
    Consequently, I find Bogost’s suggestion that we need to consider sports videogames as sports, somewhat unhelpful.
    …As not all games played as e-sports are sports-themed, and not all sports videogames are played in organised competitions.
  • My argument here, is that too often Games Studies scholars fixate upon the videogame, or their play, at the expense of considering their wider context.
    Hence, following Rojek’s (1995) argument in Decentring Leisure.
    I argue for a decentred approach to videogame scholarship.
    Which understands videogames as located within a wider social context.
    And, I would suggest a more profitable theorisation is to understand sports videogames as ‘themed’.
  • The sociological concept of ‘theming’ is most commonly linked a Neo-Marxist, and in particular a Lefebvrian influenced critique of postmodern consumer culture.
    Henri Lefebvre in The Production of Space (1994 [1974]: 383) argues that though certain play and leisure spaces might ‘appear on first inspection to have escaped the control of the established order, and thus inasmuch as they are spaces of play…This is a complete illusion…leisure is as alienated and alienating as labour’.
  • This position appears to be in direct contrast to that Johan Huizinga (1949 [1938]).
    Or certainly how his reference to the ‘magic circle’ has been interpreted by contemporary Game Studies scholars, such as Salen and Zimmerman (2004).
    The ‘magic circle’ is a list of examples given by Huizinga (1949: 10) along with:
    ‘the arena, card-table…the temple, the stage and the screen’.
    These he suggests are ‘temporary worlds’ that establish, negotiate and maintain rules and norms, which do not necessarily apply outside of that particular space and time.
    However, focusing on play in an isolated space, centres it — ignoring its wider social context.
    As Lefebvre argues, the idea that spaces of play can escape the constraints of ordinary life is an illusion sold to us by a capitalist culture industry.
  • It is upon the arguments of Lefebvre that authors such as Mark Gottdiener (2000, 2001) develop the idea of theming.
    For Gottdiener theming involves the use of ‘advertising, branding and other corporate efforts to stimulate consumer demand’ (Gotham 2005: 227).
    Themes are about creating a customer ‘experience’.
    For early fast-food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, this was about developing a known and consistent brand and dining experience, which could then be easily replicated in any of their numerous outlets across the globe.
    But as competition increased, and consumers become increasingly demanding, so too have themes become increasingly elaborate, often borrowed from another sources
    Such as Hard Rock Café or Planet Hollywood, which draw on the themes of rock music and Hollywood cinema, respectively, to help sell their burgers.
    For Gottdiener, fast-food restaurants, theme-parks, and similar, are examples of ‘non-places’ (Augé 1995).
    Non-places are spaces, which in themselves, lack a history and identity, such as airports, motorway service stations and supermarkets.
    It is these kinds of sites that are then frequently themed.
    A theme, identity or brand, is imposed upon a blank canvas to create an exciting and spectacular customer experience.
    Hence, cultural goods become repetitive and standardised objects, simply with a thin veneer of individuality, which give the consumer the sense that what they are buying is somehow different to what they had before.
    Certainly, it could be argued that a large proportion of the videogame industry is based upon producing sequels or re-makes of existing games.
  • For example, of the top selling games in the UK in 2012, you need to get to number 20 (Sleeping Dogs) before you find a game that is not a sequel or re-make of an existing video game.
    And many have questioned the originality of that particular game (for example see, Kain 2012).
    And of course, this Top 20 is includes a number of sport-themed sequels, such as FIFA 12, FIFA 13, and FIFA Street.
  • Of course, theming is very evident in sport more generally.
    An otherwise bland coffee mug or t-shirt is given a brand or theme by emblazoning it with the logo of a sports club (Crawford 2004).
    Furthermore, some have even suggested that sports venue themselves have become increasingly a standardized themed ‘non-place’.
    For example, Neilson (1995) argues that many contemporary sports venues have not grown organically within the communities they represent.
    But rather like shopping malls, are standardised structures lacking character and constructed often some distance from cities or residential areas.
    These structures rise out of nowhere, like a ‘cathedral in a beanfield’ (1995: 55).
    They are non-places, but have an identity and history imposed upon them through the application of a sports theme or brand.
  • In many respects, videogames could similarly be theorised as a ‘non-place’.
    Several writers have sought to understand videogames as spaces.
    As geographical environments in which the gamer has to navigate.
    This is an argument developed by Leonard (2006) who suggests that certain sports videogames allow the gamer to visit sports venues as a ‘tourist’.
    As he writes ‘…the attractiveness of these games lies in the ability to play at Pebble Beach or battle at Wimbledon. The tourist or colonization aspect of virtual reality are at the centre of this genre of sports game’ (2006: 396).
     
  • At their core most videogames have simple and repetitive mechanisms, and these are built around, often an already pre-existing, game-engine.
    Like the shopping mall or the contemporary sports arena, they are (to some extent) prefabricated builds, upon which a theme is applied to give (the appearance of) an individual identity.
    This can be most clearly seen with many mobile sports-themed videogames.
    Many of the most popular sports-themed mobile games, such as I AM PLAYR, Perfect Kick, Flick Kick Football, Real Basketball, and Rugby Kicks (to name but a few), all employ similar gameplay, which primarily revolves the gamer flicking the mobile screen to propel a ball towards a goal or net.
    This similarity in gameplay however, is not just shared amongst sports-themed games, but is common in many other mobile games, such as Paper Toss, where the gamer flicks a ball of paper towards an office wastepaper bin.
    But what most notably distinguishes games like Perfect Kick from Paper Toss is their sports theme and associated symbols and ‘signs’.
  • Following a Baudrillardian line of argument here, it could be argued that what the players of sports-themed videogames are primarily consuming signs or simulacra.
    They are buying into a representation, brand or theme of a sport, which is often ‘hyperreality’ — better than the real.
    For example, the football-themed videogame series FIFA has for some time allowed players to instantaneously slowly replay and dissect their goals from different angles, over and over again.
    A feature currently unavailable to the footballer, the live spectator and even more advanced than that afforded the television audience.
    Playing with Unreality?
    However, as highlighted earlier, many other sports-themed videogames do not necessarily attempt to present a version of reality, or an improvement on this, but rather consciously play with their unreality.
    For example, Leonard (2004) highlights the exaggerated physics and caricatured appearance of players in the EA Sports Streets game series.
    While the mobile-based game Flick Kick Football Legends has an in-game mechanism that allows the gamer to turn the opposition goalkeeper into a fish or puts bowling skittles in front of the players on the pitch.
  • And as such, the experience of these videogames is less a Baudrillardian hyperreality, but more akin to a post-tourist (Feifer 1985)
    The post-tourist is not necessarily seeking authenticity, but rather accepts, and at times delights, in the inauthentic.
    Hence, the contemporary player of sports-themed videogames may not be, as Leonard (2006) theorises them, as tourist seeking a ‘real’ (or ‘realer than real’) experience, but rather a ‘post-tourist’, who recognises the limitations of the sites they visit.
    For example, like the visitor to a theme park, the gamer readily accepts both the waiting and compression of time.
    For example, videogames such as Farmville involve a substantial period of idle time between actions…
    a technique copied in some mobile sports-themed videogames, such as Flick Kick Football.
    Here the gamer is only allowed to play a certain number of matches, before their team must then rest and the gamer wait for an allotted period of time before they can resume play.
    However, of course, this waiting can be shortened by the gamer making additional in-game purchases.
    Just like the Fastpass of Disneyland, an additional purchase allows the consumer to bypass much of the waiting time.
    This in many ways signals another ‘dedifferentiation’ between leisure and retail spaces.
    Like theme parks and shopping malls, game environments become spaces for both leisure and consumption of goods, such as mobile in-app purchases.
     
  • A key focus of Game Studies has been the definition and categorisation of videogames.
    And too often these discussions leave largely ignored the wider social context.
    In light of this, this paper seeks to decentre videogames,
    and rather locate their consideration within a wider, Lefebvrian-based, discussion of ‘theming’.
     
    The title of this paper, ‘is it in the game?’, is of course a play on the EA Sports’ motto ‘It’s in the Game’.
    This, I and several others, have often used as catchy (but if now somewhat overused) title for papers.
    But my suggestion, is what has received less attention, and is therefore in need of much greater consideration, is not what is in the game, but rather what the game is in.
  • Is it In the Game? reconsidering game spaces, definitions, theming & sports video games

    1. 1. Is it in the Game? reconsidering game spaces, definitions and sports videogames Garry Crawford Professor of Sociology Twitter: @CultSociologist Leisure Studies Association Annual Conference 7-9 July 2014 Keynote Address
    2. 2. • Paper presents a ‘located’ approach to understanding sports ‘themed’ videogames • Johan Huizinga (1949 [1938]): play in temporary spaces, where the usual norms and rules of wider society do not necessarily apply • Henri Lefebvre (1994 [1974]: 383): play and leisure as a continuation of ‘the control of the established order’ • Fraser (2012: 101): ‘the need and importance of a more thorough reconciliation of video game studies with Lefebvrian spatial analysis’ Introduction
    3. 3. The Manchester Storm
    4. 4. Virtual Hockey?
    5. 5. • Video Gamers (2012) • Online Gaming in Context (2011) (Crawford, Gosling & Light eds) Videogames and Video Gamers
    6. 6. • videogame worth globally over $74 billion (Hinkle 2011) • the Entertainment Software Association suggests that over half (58%) of Americans ‘play videogames’ (ESA 2013) • videogames have for many years outsold books in the UK (Bryce and Rutter 2006) • in 2012 videogames sales outstripped video sales (in all formats) for the first time (BBC 2012) Videogames Matter
    7. 7. • William Higinbotham’s Tennis for Two (1958) • Pong • ‘sport games’ are the third best selling genre of videogames (ESA 2013) Sports Videogames Matter
    8. 8. • David Leonard (2006: 393): ‘the field of sports games studies represents a barren wasteland of knowledge’ • ‘little ink has been spilled on the topic of sports videogames’ (Consalvo et al. 2013:2) • M. Consalvo, K. Mitgutsch and A. Stein (eds) (2013) Sports Videogames • ‘Garry Crawford deserves much credit for being one of the first scholars to study sports videogames’ (Consalvo et al. 2013: 3) • Leisure Studies (2005) Sports Videogames Matter
    9. 9. • Perron and Wolf (2009) agreed-upon terms have been slow to develop • Videogames as ‘media’ or ‘play’ • ‘Games Studies’ or ‘ludology’ The Importance of Terminology
    10. 10. • Ian Bogost (2013) ‘What Are Sports Videogames?’ • ‘simulations’ — Caillois (1962) games based upon ‘mimicry’ Defining Sports Videogames
    11. 11. • EA Sports: ‘if it’s in the game, it’s in the game’ • Leonard (2006: 394): ‘sports [video] games attempt to blur the lines between the ballpark and the virtual stadium, the athlete and the virtual athlete’ Defining Sports Videogames
    12. 12. • Bogost (2013: 52, citing Adams 2006: 484): ‘sports [video] games simulate some aspect of a sport’ (emphasis added) • Bogost: sports videogame as sports • ‘sports are weird and hard to pin down’ (Bogost 2013: 52) • ‘just about anything can be taken seriously as… a sport’ (Bogost 2013: 53) Defining Sports Videogames
    13. 13. • eSports • FPS, such as Doom and Counter-Strike • strategy video wargames, such as StarCraft Defining Sports Videogames
    14. 14. • Games Studies scholars fixate upon the videogame, or their play • Chris Rojek’s (1995) Decentring Leisure • videogames as located within a wider social context Decentring Videogames
    15. 15. • Henri Lefebvre in The Production of Space (1994 [1974]: 383): though certain play and leisure spaces might ‘appear on first inspection to have escaped the control of the established order…This is a complete illusion…leisure is as alienated and alienating as labour’ Theming
    16. 16. • Huizinga (1949 [1938]): ‘magic circle’ • ‘the arena, card-table, magic circle, the temple, the stage and the screen’ (Huizinga 1949: 10) Theming
    17. 17. • Mark Gottdiener (2000, 2001) • theming involves the use of ‘advertising, branding and other corporate efforts to stimulate consumer demand’ (Gotham 2005: 227) • ‘non-place’ (Augé 1995) • ‘veneer’ of individuality (Adorno 1991) Theming
    18. 18. Top 20 best-selling games in 2012 1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II – Activision 2. FIFA 13 - Electronic Arts 3. Assassin's Creed III – Ubisoft 4. Halo 4 – Microsoft 5. Hitman Absolution - Square Enix 6. Just Dance 4 – Ubisoft 7. Far Cry 3 – Ubisoft 8. FIFA 12 - Electronic Arts 9. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Bethesda 10. Borderlands 2 - 2K Games 11. Mass Effect 3 - Electronic Arts 12. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes - Warner Bros 13. Need for Speed: Most Wanted - Electronic Arts 14. FIFA Street - Electronic Arts 15. Mario & Sonic: London 2012 Olympic Games 16. Skylanders Giants – Activision 17. Battlefield 3 - Electronic Arts 18. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – Activision 19. Max Payne 3 – Rockstar 20. Sleeping Dogs - Square Enix
    19. 19. • theming is very evident in sport more generally • sports venues have become increasingly themed ‘non-places’ • Sandvoss (2003: 178) a ‘increasingly standardized and pasteurized’ Sports Theming
    20. 20. • videogames as geographical spaces: such as Fuller and Jenkins (1995), Neilsen et al. (2008) and Nitsche (2008) (to name but a few) • ‘…the attractiveness of these games lies in the ability to play at Pebble Beach or battle at Wimbledon. The tourist [is]…at the centre of this genre of sports game’ (Leonard 2006: 396) Sports-Theming in Videogames
    21. 21. • videogames have simple and repetitive mechanisms, often built around an already pre-existing game-engine • Many of the most popular sports- themed mobile games, such as I AM PLAYR, Perfect Kick, Flick Kick Football, Real Basketball, and Rugby Kicks (to name but a few), all employ similar gameplay • but so does…Paper Toss Sports-Theming in Videogames
    22. 22. • Baudrillardian ‘hyperreality’? • Leonard (2004): exaggerated physics and caricatured appearances in the EA Sports Streets series • Flick Kick Football Legends • Adams (2006) games only usually seek to copy certain aspects of a sport Playing with a hyper-/un-reality?
    23. 23. • Maxine Feifer’s (1985) ‘post- tourist’ • Compression of time and waiting: Farmville and Flick Kick Football • Fastpass at Disneyland • ‘dedifferentiation’ between leisure and retail Playing with a hyper-/un-reality?
    24. 24. • ‘Is it In the Game?’ • We need to be considering not what is in the game, but rather what the game is in Some concluding thoughts
    25. 25. References for full paper: Abercrombie, N. and Longhurst, B. (1998) Audiences, Sage, London. Albrechtslund, A.M (2008) ‘Gamers Telling Stories: understanding game experience through narratives’, conference paper presented to Digital Content Creation: Creativity, Competence, Critique, The second international DREAM conference, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, 18-20 September 2008. Online at: http://www.dreamconference.dk/nyheder/Albrechtslund,%20Anne- Mette.pdf Adams, E. (2006) The Fundamentals of Game Design, New York: New Riders. Adams, E. (2010) The Fundamentals of Game Design (2nd Ed.), Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Adorno, T. (1991) The Culture Industry, London: Routledge. Augé, M (1995) Non-Places: introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity. (Translated by John Howe) London, Verso Baerg, A. (2007). Fight Night Round 2, mediating the body and digital boxing. Sociology of Sport Journal, 24 (5), 325-345. Baerg, A. (2008). "It's (not) in the game": The quest for quantitative realism and the Madden Football fan. In L. W. Hugenberg, P. M. Haridakis & A. C. Earnheardt (Eds.), Sports mania: Essays on fandom and the media in the 21st century (pp. 218-228). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. Baudrillard, J. (1983) In the Shadow of the Silent majorities or, The end of the Social and Other Essays, Paris: Semitext(e). BBC (2012) Game sales surpassed video in UK, says report, BBC News Technology, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17458205 Bryce, J. and Rutter, J. (2006) ‘Digital Games and The Violence Debate’, in Rutter, J. and Bryce, J. (ed) Understanding Digital Games, London: Sage. Bogost, I. (2013) ‘What are Sports Videogames?’’, in Consalvo, M, Mitgutsch, K & Stein, A. (eds) Sports Videogames, Routledge, London, pp.50-66. Caillois, R. (1962) Man, Play and Games (trans. M. Barash), Thames & Hudson, London. Cifaldi, F (2013) The 10 best-Selling Games of 2012, gamasutra.com, http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/184637/ Consalvo, M, Mitgutsch, K & Stein, A. (2013) ‘Introduction: mapping the field’, in Consalvo, M, Mitgutsch, K & Stein, A. (eds) Sports Videogames, Routledge, London, pp. 1-12. Conway, S. (2010) ‘“It’s In the Game” and above the game: an analysis of the users of sports videogames’, Convergence: the international journal of research into new media technologies, 16 (2): 334-354. Crawford, G. (2000) Theorising the Contemporary Sport Support: an ethnography of the supporter base of the Manchester Storm (unpublished PhD thesis), Salford, University of Salford. Crawford, G. (2002) ‘Cultural Tourists and Cultural Trends: Commercialization and the Coming of The Storm’, Culture, Sport, Society, 5 (1) Spring, 21-38. Crawford, G. (2004) Consuming Sport: Sport, Fans and Culture, Routledge, London Crawford, G. (2005) ‘Digital Gaming, Sport and Gender’, Leisure Studies, 24 (3), 259-270. Crawford, G. (2006) ‘The Cult of Champ Man: The Culture and Pleasures of Championship Manager/Football Manager Gamers’, Information, Communication and Society, 9 (4), 496-514 Crawford, G. (2009) ‘Forget the Magic Circle (or Towards a Sociology of Video Games)’ keynote presentation to the Under the Mask 2, University of Bedfordshire, 5 June 2009. Online at: http://underthemask.wikidot.com/key-note
    26. 26. References for full paper: Crawford, G. (2009) ‘Forget the Magic Circle (or Towards a Sociology of Video Games)’ keynote presentation to the Under the Mask 2, University of Bedfordshire, 5 June 2009. Online at: http://underthemask.wikidot.com/key-note Crawford, G., Gosling, V.K. & Light, B. (2011) ‘The Social and Cultural Significance of Online Gaming’, in G. Crawford, V.K. Gosling & B. Light (eds) Online Gaming in Context: The Social and Cultural Significance of Online Gaming, Routledge, London. Crawford, G. and Rutter, J., (2006) ‘Cultural Studies and Digital Games’, in J. Bryce and J. Rutter (eds) Understanding Digital Games, Sage, London. Critcher, C. (1979) ‘Football Since the War’ in J. Clarke, C. Critcher and R. Johnson (eds) Working Class Culture: Studies in History and Theory, London: Hutchinson, pp.161-184. de Certeau, M. (1984) The Practice of Everyday Life, University of California, Press, Berkeley. Dring, C. (2013) Revealed: 2012's UK Top 100 Video Games, mcvuk.com, http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/revealed-2012-s- uktop100/0109259 ESA (2013) Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry 2013, Entertainment Software Association. Online at: http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2013.pdf Eagleton, T. (2005) ‘The Love That Speaks its Name in Hello’, The Times Higher Educational Supplement, December 9th , pp.15-16. Feifer, M. (1985) Going Places: the way of the tourist from Imperial Rome to present day, London, MacMillan. Fuller, M. and Jenkins, H. (1995) ‘Nintendo and New World Travel Writing: a dialogue’ in S.G. Jones (ed.) Cybersociety: computer-mediated communications and community, London: Sage, 57-72. Garfinkel, H. (1967) Studies in Ethnomethodology., Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall. Gotham. K.F. (2005) ‘Theorizing urban spectacles: festivals, tourism and the transformation of urban space’, City, 9 (2), July 2005, 225-246. Online at: http://www.tulane.edu/~kgotham/TheorizingUrbanSpectacles.pdf Gottdiener, M. (eds) (2000) New Forms of Consumption: Consumers, Culture and Commodification, Oxford, Rowman and Littlefield. Gottdiener, M (2001) The Theming of America: American Dreams, Media Fantasies and Themed Environments (2nd Ed.) Oxford, Westview Press. Giulianotti, R. (2002) ‘Supporters, Followers, Fans, and Flaneurs: A Taxonomy of Spectator Identities in Football’, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 26 (1), 25-46. Hall, S. (1980) ‘Encoding/decoding’ in S. Hall, D. Hobson, A Lowe and P. Willis (eds) Culture, Media, Language: working papers in cultural studies, 1972-79, London: Hutchinson, 197-208. Hills, M. (2002) Fan Cultures, London: Routledge. Hinkle, D. (2011) Report: Game industry worth $74 billion in 2011, Josystiq.com, http://www.joystiq.com/2011/07/05/report-game-industry- worth-74-billion-in-2011/ Huizinga, J. (1949 [1938]) Homo Ludens: a study of the play-element in culture, London: Routledge. Jenkins, H. (2004) ‘Game Design as Narrative Architecture’, in N. Wardrip-Fruin and P. Harrigan (eds) First Person: new media as story, performance and game, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 118-130. Julier, G. (2014) The Culture of Design (3rd Ed.), London, Sage. Juul, J. (2005) Half-Real: video games between real rules and fictional worlds, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    27. 27. References for full paper: Kain, E. (2012) ‘“Sleeping Dogs” Review - Part One’ (Xbox 360), Forbes.com, Online at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/08/14/sleeping-dogs-review-part-one-xbox-360/3/ Kerr, A., Brereton, P. Kücklich, J. and Flynn, R. (2004) New Media: New Media Pleasures?, STeM Working Paper: Final Research Report of a Pilot Research Project, online available at www.comms.dcu.ie/kerra/source %20files/text/NMP_working%20paper%20final.pdf Lefebvre, H. (1994 [1974) The Production of Space (trans. D. Nicholson-Smith), Oxford, Blackwell. Leonard, D. (2004) ‘High Tech Blackface – Race, Sports Video Games and Becoming the Other’, Intelligent Agent, 4 (2). Online at: http://www.intelligentagent.com/archive/Vol4_No4_gaming_leonard.htm (2006) ‘An Untapped Field: exploring the world of virtual sports’, In A.A. Raney and J. Bryant (Eds), Handbook of Sports and Media, London: Lawrence Erlbaum. 393-407 Marx, K. (1990 [1867]) Capital Vol. 1, London ,Penguin Classics,. Nielsen, S.E., Smith, J.H. and Tosca, S.P. (2008) Understanding Video Games: the essential introduction, London: Routledge. Neilson, B. J. (1995) ‘Baseball’ in K. B. Raitz (eds) The Theatre of Sport, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, pp.30-69. Nitsche, M. (2008) Video Game Spaces: image, play, and structure in 3d game worlds, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Pargman, D., and Jakobsson, P. (2008) ‘Do You Believe in Magic? Computer Games in Everyday Life’, European Journal of Cultural Studies, 11 (2), 225-243. Pedercini, P. (2014) ‘Videogames and the Spirit of Capitalism’, in E. Gee and J. Myerson (eds) Time & Motion…redefining working life, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, pp.61-67. Perron, B. and Wolf, M.J.P. (2009) ‘Introduction, in B.Perron and M.J.P.Wolf (eds) The Video Game Theory Reader 2, London, Routledge, pp1-22. Ricoeur, P. (1988) Time and Narrative, Vol. 3. (trans. K. Blamey and D. Pellauer) Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Rojek, C. (1985) Capitalism and Leisure Theory, London, Tavistock. — (1995) Decentring Leisure: Rethinking Leisure Theory, London, Sage. Sandvoss, C. (2003) A Game of Two Halves: football, television and globalization. London: Routledge. Salen, K. and Zimmerman, E. (2004) Rules of Play: game design fundamentals, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Taylor, I. (1969) ‘Hooligans: Soccer’s Resistance Movement’, New Society, 7 August, 204-206. Taylor, T.L. (2007) ‘Pushing the Boundaries: Player Participation and Game Culture’, in J. Karaganis (ed.) Structures of Participation in Digital Culture, New York: SSRC, 112-130. Turner, V. (1982) From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play, New York, Performing Arts Journal Publications. UK Sports Council (2010) Recognition of sports and National Governing Bodies. Online at: http://www.sportscotland.org.uk/sport-a-z/recognition_of_sports_and_national_governing_bodies/
    28. 28. Thank you for listening… Prof. Garry Crawford, University of Salford Email: g.crawford@salford.ac.uk Twitter: @CultSociologist

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