Title

Meaningless Play: The Psychological Experience of Shame in Computer Game Play

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Entertainment Media

Faculty

Education and Arts

School

Communications and Arts, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications

RAS ID

5841

Comments

This article was originally published as

Spoors, G. (2008). Meaningless Play: The Psychological Experience of Shame in Computer Game Play.

Original article available here

Abstract

This article draws an analogy to Sartre’s (1943/1993) existentialism to describe qualities of “meaningless” computer gameplay. Silvan Tomkins’ (1962, 1963, 1992) work is used to argue that disjunctive moments of gameplay may elicit an affect of shame that possess an existential tone, and Donald Nathanson’s (1992) “compass of shame” is adapted to identify four different ways of experiencing this shame. However, these experiences may be aesthetically recuperated when games represent existential experiences and/or players employ a Sartrean strategy of confronting such experiences with an attitude of humour and resolve.