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Of discs, boxes and cartridges: The material life of digital games

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DiGRA 2011 Conference: Think Design Play
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event5th International Conference on Digital Research Association: Think Design Play, DiGRA 2011 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Sep 201117 Sep 2011

Conference

Conference5th International Conference on Digital Research Association: Think Design Play, DiGRA 2011
CountryNetherlands
CityUtrecht
Period14/09/1117/09/11

Abstract

So far the field of game studies has mostly bypassed the everyday meanings attached to the material manifestations of digital games. Based on qualitative survey data, this article examines what kind of personal and collective values are attached to the physical copies of games, including the storage medium and packaging. The results show how materiality resonates with the reliability and unambiguity of ownership. Furthermore, games as physical objects can have a key role in the project of creating a home, receiving their meaning as part of a wider technological and popular cultural meaning structure. Finally, collecting associates games with more general issues of identity, sociability and history. Through storing and organising games and having them on display, gamers position themselves as part of game culture, gather subcultural capital and ensure the possibility for nostalgia.

Keywords

  • Collecting, Digital distribution, Domestication, Game culture, Material culture, Nostalgia, Physical copies