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Language and perception in co-located gaming
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies.
2008 (English)In: Language, Culture Mind III,2008, 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Language and perception in co-located computer gaming The study of computer gaming has risen as a field of study in recent years, but although attempts have been made to move research agendas from computer games to the practice of computer gaming there is still a lack of empirical work concerning itself with the how game playing gets accomplished in various contexts. This paper takes as its focus the communicative practices that make up multiple-party computer gaming in venues such as internet cafés and LAN-parties. In these kinds of places, people (of varying ages) gather to play computer games together. These games are usually available for cooperative and competitive gaming online, but something about these places make people come there to play face-to-face with each other. The local forms of playing entails for the player to involve him- or herself in a specific community of practice (Lave & Wenger), including specialized (and to the outsider highly esoteric) language games. This study explores the semiotic resources (Goodwin, 2000) used in the language games of concerted co-located gaming, providing an explication of the ethnomethodology of computer game playing. Video data was gathered during short term fieldwork in internet cafés and a large LAN party. Cameras were set up so as to capture both the participants- bodily actions as well as on-screen activities, using single or multiple cameras. In total, around 15 hours of video data was recorded. Relevant parts were transcribed using conventions of conversation analysis, adapted to be able to capture the visual details of the interaction. The semiotic resources utilized in co-located gaming include both on-screen (-in-game-) and off-screen resources. The contextual configuration of resources vary (Goodwin, 2000), but interaction is typically comprised of both bodily actions (gestures, posture and leaning) and computer based actions (cursor-pointing, screen-scrolling, avatar movement and other in-game abilities). Talk is intrinsically intertwined with the gaming activity, providing an ongoing commentary and formulation by the players and onlookers of their actions. Results of the study indicate that the game is generally available as a topical focus of the interaction. Players and onlookers may, without any other specific conversational work being done, switch topic to the current or future events on the screen. Even though they may talk about things that are not part of the game, the on-screen activities are central to the interaction in the way that they are always available as a next possible topic. Such topic-switches can take the form of short response-cries (Aarsand & Aronsson, 2007) or of lengthier stretches of interaction. These topic-switches are interesting as they provide insights into what the participants demonstrate as being -locally relevant- or -noticeable features- of the gaming. Thus, the participants- topical foci may be used in order to explore the -professional vision- (Goodwin, 1994) of gaming, making language, perception and action in co-located computer gaming understandable as fundamentally associated phenomena. References Aarsand, P. & Aronsson, K. (2007/accepted). Response cries and other gaming moves: Building intersubjectivity in gaming. Journal of Pragmatics. Goodwin, C. (2000).Action and Embodiment Within Situated Human Interaction. Journal of Pragmatics 32: 1489-522. Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional Vision. American Anthropologist 96(3): 606-33. Lave, J & Wenger E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-44779Local ID: 77602OAI: diva2:265641
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10

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Sjöblom, Björn
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Faculty of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Child Studies
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