“Keywords in Play” is an interview series about game research supported by Critical Distance and the Digital Games Research Association.
In this episode we talk with Gregory Whistance-Smith, an independent scholar based in Edmonton, Canada. The discussion focuses on the book “Expressive Space: Embodying Meaning in Video Game Environments” https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110723731/html?lang=en
Video game spaces have vastly expanded the built environment, offering new worlds to explore and inhabit. Like buildings, cities, and gardens before them, these virtual environments express meaning and communicate ideas and affects through the spatial experiences they afford. Drawing on the emerging field of embodied cognition, this book explores the dynamic interplay between mind, body, and environment that sits at the heart of spatial communication. To capture the wide diversity of forms that spatial expression can take, the book builds a comparative analysis of twelve video games across four types of space, spanning ones designed for exploration and inhabitation, kinetic enjoyment, enacting a situated role, and enhancing perception. Together, these diverse virtual environments suggest the many ways that video games enhance and extend our embodied lives.