Artem Reiniuk 1, Alexandr Shirokov 2
  • 1 Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, 82, building 2, Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119571, Russia
  • 2 Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, 82, building 2, Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119571, Russia

Ethnomethodology of Videogames: Phenomenal Field in Game Practice

2017, vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 233–279 [issue contents]
The paper describes a program for the research of video games in the ethnomethodological perspective. The core of the program is represented by the concept of “phenomenal field” which highlights a number of topics significant for studying gamers’ real experience, that is, the gamer’s phenomenal field, the virtual world phenomena, the interface phenomena, the everyday phenomena, the figure and background of the phenomenal field, and the projection. The program is based on the empirical researches which provided a detailed description of game actions, as well as a step-by-step analysis of their sequences. The problem of the phenomenal field in game practices is revealed through the analysis of three common types of situations encountered by gamers. The first type is related to the coordination of gamers’ actions in network multiplayer games, and to the role of verbal communication in this coordination. The materials from several game episodes illustrates the importance of other gamers for the organization of the gamer’s phenomenal field. The second type of situation relates to the interaction of the gamer and the interface. The analysis of the activities of two different characters within one game shows how the work with the interface can differ depending on the specific features of a character and the details of the situation. The third type of situation is related to the problem of the coordination of game actions in the physical and virtual worlds. The analysis demonstrates the way in which the gamer can switch between three different types of objects, those of the objects of the virtual world, of the game interface, and of the world “on this side of a monitor”. The analyses of these examples allows for the statement that the program of ethnomethodological studies based on the detailed empirical analysis makes it possible to reveal the phenomenological mechanics of video games.
Citation: Reiniuk A., Shirokov A. (2017) Etnometodologiya videoigr: fenomenal'noe pole v igrovoy praktike [Ethnomethodology of Videogames: Phenomenal Field in Game Practice]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 3, pp. 233-279 (in Russian)
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