Recently I’ve been reflecting on my gaming habits, and how these practices occasionally spill over into the workplace or home. Crawford and Rutter (2007) make three interesting points about video gamers drawing upon game resources and material in everyday contexts:
1: gaming is not simply a solitary pursuit; it is social and performative and impacts on wider social spaces.
2: gaming facilitates and informs social performances both in-game and in wider social practices
– even if playing individually gamers will bring their “social, cultural, and psychological selves to the games they play”
3: gamers bring their in-game knowledge into other social arenas
These social and performative aspects suggest game research should widen its lens of analysis to also look at the connections and parallels between fans, audiences and wider social groups. For example, the intertextuality of gaming (drawing upon film and TV texts, etc) suggests there’s already cross-over within the text. The performances of gamers in in-game and other social setting should also show intertextual dimensions.
I think Crawford and Rutter are spot on when they speak of game knowledge and resources informing “social performances and interactions not directly related to gaming”. For example, Gran Turismo 5 prologue has recently given me a crash-course in car knowledge and I’m tempted to think that I could draw upon this knowledge by Christmas to impress my non-gamer car-obsessed friends with a new found knowledge and passion of some of the more obscure cars on show in the game. It’s also complementing a new found enjoyment “Top Gear” and their skill in extending the car experience into broader social performances. More on that when the new season starts airing here.