The Paradox of Transgression in Games looks at transgressive games as an aesthetic experience, tackling how players respond to game content that shocks, disturbs, and distresses, and how contemporary video games can evoke intense emotional reactions.
The book delves into the commercial success of many controversial videogames: although such games may appear shocking for the observing bystander, playing them is experienced as deeply rewarding for the player. Drawing on qualitative player studies and approaches from media aesthetics theory, the book challenges the perception of games as innocent entertainment, and examines the range of emotional, moral, and intellectual experiences of players. As they explore what players consider transgressive, the authors ask whether there is something about the gameplay situation that works to mitigate the sense of transgression, stressing gameplay as an aesthetic experience.
Anchoring the aesthetic game experience both in play studies as well as in aesthetic theory, this book will be an essential resource for scholars and students of game studies, aesthetics, media studies, philosophy of art, and emotions.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Exploring Transgressions in Games Part 1: Transgressions 1. Old Term, New Game 2. The Form and Content of Transgressive Games 3. Transgressive Games: An Overview Part 2: Experiences with Transgressive Games 4. Transgressive Games and the Player-Response Perspective 5. Transgressive Gameplay Experiences 6. Emotions, Affect and Transgression Part 3: Games and Transgressive Aesthetics 7. The Carnivalesque Aesthetics of Games 8. Game Aesthetics and the Sublime. Conclusions: Towards an Aesthetic Theory of Transgressive Games
Torill Elvira Mortensen is Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Kristine Jørgensen is Professor at University of Bergen, Norway