Is computer gaming a craft? Prehension, practice, and puzzle-solving in gaming labour

Brock, Tom and Fraser, Emma (2018) Is computer gaming a craft? Prehension, practice, and puzzle-solving in gaming labour. Information, Communication and Society, 21 (9). pp. 1219-1233. ISSN 1369-118X

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This article applies sociological theories of ‘craft’ to computer gaming practices to conceptualise the relationship between play, games, and labour. Using the example of the game Dota 2, as both a competitive esport title and a complex game based around a shared practice, this article examines the conditions under which the play of a computer game can be considered a ‘craft’. In particular, through the concept of ‘prehension’, we dissect the gameplay activity of Dota 2, identifying similarities with how the hand practices craft labour. We identify these practices as ‘contact’, ‘apprehension’, ‘language acquisition’ and ‘reflection’. We argue that players develop these practices of the hand to make sense of the game’s rules and controls. From this perspective, it is the hand that initiates experiences of craft within computer gameplay, and we offer examples of player creativity and experimentation to evidence its labour. The article concludes with a discussion on the need for future research to examine the quality of gaming labour in the context of esports.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Information, Communication and Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3309
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 137216
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 01 Oct 2019 14:15
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 05:36

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