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Games as Being

 

Disciplines > Game Design > Games as Being

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When playing a game, the player can become so involved in the game that they bond into it, becoming 'one with the game'. In this sense, they become the game.

Role-playing games, when the player takes the part of a defined character, can easily lead to situations where the player becomes the character, forgetting their own personality.

Example

A normally shy person plays an aggressive fighter in a game. When they are in character, they are nothing like their 'real world' personality.

A chess player studies and plays the game so much that it becomes a defining element of their life.

Discussion

'Ontology' is the study of being and existence. Games can hence be viewed in an ontological light. When you become not just one with the game but become the game (or character), then your identity changes. As such there is a loss of original self. An effect of this 'flow' state is that when the person returns to their self there is a great sense of elation.

Gaming as being is related to gaming as escape in that when your being locks into the game the 'real world' is left behind. The difference is that gaming as escape is about moving away what is not wanted, while gaming as being is moving towards the state of being.

Gaming as being is also related to games as bonding. The critical difference here is one of identity. It is not just connecting but one of becoming. Gaming as being is also more about the self, while gaming as bonding is about the joining of two equals.

See also

Gaming as Escape, Identity

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