The presentation deals with a paradigmatic shift observable in recent computer game research; games today are first and foremost conceived as a new medium characterized by their status as an interactive image. The shift in attention towards this aspect becomes apparent in a new approach that is, first and foremost, aware of the spatiality of games or their spatial structures. This rejects traditional approaches on the basis that the medial specificity of games can no longer be reduced to textual or ludic properties, but have to be seen in medial constituted spatiality. The lecture will therefore resume seminal studies on the spatiality of computer games and discuss their advantages and disadvantages, suggesting three essential steps in describing computer games against the backdrop of an eminent philosophical method, namely phenomenology: with this method it is possible to describe games with respect to the possible appearance of spatiality in a pictorial medium. Though already sometimes implicitly practiced in computer game studies, this method has yet to be made explicit.
Dr. Stephan Günzel is assistant professor in the DFG-research project “Mediality of Computer Games at the Department for Media and Arts at the University of Potsdam. His research interests are Picture Theory, Spatial Theory and Media Theory. He held teaching and research positions at the Universities of Berlin, Jena, Lüneburg, Magdeburg and Weimar. http://www.stephan-guenzel.de