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Do you believe in magic? Computer games in everyday life

[journal article]

Pargman, Daniel; Jakobsson, Peter

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Abstract Huizinga's concept of a 'magic circle' has been used to depict computer games and gaming activities as something separate from ordinary life. In this view, games are special (magical) and they only come to life within temporal and spatial borders that are enacted and performed by the participants. This article discusses the concept of a 'magic circle' and finds that it lacks specificity. Attempts to use the concept of a magic circle create a number of anomalies that are problematic. This is not, as has been suggested earlier, primarily a matter of the genre of the game, or a discussion of what an appropriate definition of a 'game' might be. Rather, in this study with hardcore gamers, playing computer games is a routine and mundane activity, making the boundary between play and non-play tenuous to say the least. This article presents an alternative theoretical framework which should be explored further.
Keywords routine
Free Keywords definitions of games; magic circle; place; play; rhetorics; time;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 225-244
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 11 (2008) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)