“Blackout!” Unpacking the Black Box of the Game Event

Steven Conway, Andrew Trevillian


In this article we propose a new ontology for games, synthesising phenomenology, Latourian Actor-Network Theory and Goffmanian frame analysis. In doing so we offer a robust, minimal and practical model for the analyst and designer, that clearly illustrates the network of objects within the 'Black Box' of any game, illuminating how each object (from player to memory card to sunlight) may move between three levels of the Game Event: Social World, Operative World and Character World. Abbreviating these worlds, a shorthand for the model is SOC (Social/Operative/Character).


Ontology; Frame Analysis; Actor-Network Theory; Object-Oriented Ontology

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26503/todigra.v2i1.42
Published by the Digital Games Research Association.