I’m proud to announce that the first academic publication based in research conducted in the Games and Transgressive Aesthetics project now is published in a special issue in Game Studies: The International Journal of Computer Game Research on war games!
Game Studies is an open access journal, and my article ”The Positive Discomfort of Spec Ops: The Line” can be accessed free from here.
The publication is based on research that was collected as part of the project’s pre-study during Fall 2015. Stemming from focus group interviews with players, the paper discusses player experiences with the critical war-themed game Spec Ops: The Line. While the participants who had played the game described it as an uncomfortable gameplay experience, they also stress that the integration of narrative and gameplay led to a meaningful fictional experience. With references to theories from game design and game studies as well as from psychology and sociology, the article shows how ”positive negative experiences” can be manifested in narrative-based single-player videogames.
The article only reflects one out of several studies that we conduct in the Games and Transgressive Aesthetics project, and represents one way of explaining how uncomfortable game content can be experienced in a gameplay context.
While the publication stems from data collected in the Games and Transgressive Aesthetics project, it is also a product of collaboration in the research project WARGAME led by a partner in the project, associate professor at University of Tromsø Holger Pötzsch, who is one of the guest editors of this special issue in Game Studies.