Press enter or escape to play deconstructing escapism in multiplayer gaming

Harald Warmelink, Casper Harteveld, Igor Mayer

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The term escapism tends to be used in game research without providing any extensive definition of what it means or acknowledging its composite nature. In this paper, the authors question the possible conceptualizations of escapism and the extent to which gamers identify with them. Beginning with a theoretical deconstruction of escapism, the authors developed a framework that they applied in an empirical study with three focus groups. Respondents in these groups completed a survey and participated in a group discussion. The resulting data allowed the identification of eight different discourses of escapism in the context of playing multiplayer computer games. In addition, the study showed that citing escapism as a reason for playing games elicits debate and emotional responses. Given the existence of multiple interpretations and connotations, this paper concludes that escapism is problematic for use in surveys, interviews, and other research techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event4th Digital Games Research Association International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory, DiGRA 2009 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sep 20094 Sep 2009

Conference

Conference4th Digital Games Research Association International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory, DiGRA 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period1/09/094/09/09

Keywords

  • Critique
  • Deconstruction
  • Escapism
  • Multiplayer
  • Player motivation

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