Never Playing Alone: The Social Contextures of Digital Gaming


  • Bart Simon


Digital game studies does not quite have the same legacy of metaphors as Internet studies does and to some extent we find ourselves borrowing the idea that there is the concrete material place of the user/player on the one hand and the more abstract representational space of the game on the other. If the game is online then that space (given its properties of shared visual verisimilitude, interactivity and immersion) seems in fact more cyber-spatial (in the terms described by Neal Stephenson or William Gibson) than most Internet researchers could ever imagine. It is in this sense, that massively multiplayer online games like Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies or even the Sims Online, more so than websites, MUDs or even spatially intensive games like Myst, are commonly described in terms similar to how one might describe travelling to another country. Indeed, it would seem that the more immersive the game the greater this sense of transportation becomes.




Foundations and Frames