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ERIC Number: EJ1139482
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2042-7530
Beyond the Player: A User-Centered Approach to Analyzing Digital Games and Players Using Actor-Network Theory
Hung, Aaron Chia Yuan
E-Learning and Digital Media, v13 n5-6 p227-243 Sep-Nov 2016
The paper uses actor-network theory (ANT) to analyze the sociotechnical networks of three groups of adolescents who played online games in different physical and social contexts. These include: an internet café, which allowed the players to be co-present; a personal laptop, which gave the player more control over how he played; and at home through game consoles using Xbox Live, which let the players communicate with one another through a headset. Using ethnographic research methods, I describe how their decisions about when, with whom and how they played were shaped by different sets of circumstances that were connected to real world issues and constraints. The ANT analysis focuses on three dimensions: network assemblage (what humans, technologies and routines need to be in place for them to play); translation (what holds their network together, and how these networks can be disrupted); and multiplicity (what other actor-networks exist that affect their play experience, in-game strategies and relationships). Finally, I conclude by reflecting on research on games and learning, and argue that it is important to avoid over-generalizing what makes up "games" and "players" because different players are part of different actor-networks, and that understanding these networks help us understand how games fit into the lives of those who play them.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A