Video games and affect, an interview with James Ash

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The Theory, Culture and Society blog have an interview with James Ash. The interview focuses on his recent articles in the journals Body & Society and Theory, Culture & Society. It’s a detailed interview that reflects on the way that James has been using affect theory to understand gaming (there is a list of his articles on this subject at the end of the interview). James seems to be doing some pathbreaking work on gaming, which, despite its cultural prominence, has not received much sustained attention from social and cultural researchers. This particular response gives a sense of the direction and approach that his work takes:

In the TCS paper, I theorise the relationship between attention and affect through the concepts of amplification, modulation and bandwidth. Videogames attempt to amplify and modulate affect within a particular bandwidth between positive affects such as joy and negative affects such as sorrow in order to hold players attention. Action is a key part of this process, because it is through players’ responses that the feedback loops of modulation take place.

The articles discussed in the interview are currently free to access.

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