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Rethinking Playing Research: DJ HERO and Methodological Observations in the Mix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-429
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Playing games has a crucial methodological role within the study of games. At the same time, detailed overviews of how academic playing is conducted are difficult to find. In this article, the authors begin with Espen Aarseth's outline of playing research and offer some updates to it in order to build a more context-aware approach. To exemplify the elaborated methodology, the authors apply it to the rhythm game DJ HERO. They emphasize in this article that a game not only creates a world of its own, but also is in many ways connected to the traditions directed by real-world culture and economics. Thus, playing research needs to go beyond the limits of gameworld and normative gameplay, and move toward a concept or assemblage of play that takes into account games as singular and multifaceted technocultural entities.


  • assemblage, cheating, controller, DJ HERO, gameplay, methodology, modification, playing games, playing research, real world, remix culture, research methods, rhythm games