The ‘Dominant Effect’ of Games: Content vs. medium

  • Gareth Schott
  • Jasper van Vught
  • Raphaël Marczak
Keywords: Classification, Player Experience, Player Accounts, Configuration, Interpretation


Digital games receive an age-restriction rating based on the depiction of harmful content and its possible impact on players. Following on from film, the relationship between media content and its psychological impact on audiences is assumed to be further heightened by the interactive nature of the medium as it makes players responsible for constructing the moving-image on screen. While classification processes continue to serve as an exercise in caution, there remains little evaluation of a particular rating decision’s accuracy via any subsequent examination of the interactions between player and game text. This paper argues for the benefits of researched accounts detailing the interactive experience of games for its capacity to challenge public understanding of the medium. In doing so, the paper will introduce a research design that is currently being employed to achieve an understanding of player experiences. The intention is to produce an empirically validated model of media ‘usage,’ capable of accounting for the ‘actual’ experience of play and the ways game texts are activated under the agency of players once they enter everyday life and culture.

How to Cite
Schott, G., van Vught, J., & Marczak, R. (2013). The ‘Dominant Effect’ of Games: Content vs. medium. The Journal of Creative Technologies, (3). Retrieved from