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Title: Winning and losing in the hall of mirrors
Authors: Long, Vanessa Abigail
Advisors: Nobus, D
Krzywinska, T
Keywords: Lacan;Baudrillard;Psychoanalysis;Video games;Hyperreality
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: School of Social Sciences Theses
Abstract: Who are we? Why do we do the things we do? These questions are constantly under scrutiny, forever unable to provide us with adequate answers, it seems. Yet, with the continuing rise in popularity of digital media, we are able to situate these questions in a different sphere and see aspects of the self that we were unable to perceive before. Digital media forms have provided us with the capacity to explore whole new worlds, as well as allowing for new and innovative methods of communication. These changes make a huge impact on the daily lives of individuals. This thesis presents a theoretical contribution to both psychoanalytic thinking and to the rapidly expanding field of games studies, with especial reference to avatar-based games. It considers the status of the bond formed between the individual at play (known here as the ‘user’) and the game itself. Furthermore, it presents this as a model which identifies the user’s relation to the game dynamic through an understanding of the key components of a video game, including aspects such as the control mechanism. Elements which cross the boundary between the user/game realities are also considered with relation to hyperreality, thus forming a more complete imagining of this framework. This also allows for an application of this dynamic to what we define as violent (and associated) acts within games. In turn, this allows for a more complete understanding of the game situation, and can be applied to our understanding of the user as well. This thesis provides a standalone framework which can also be utilised in other types of investigation in future.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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