van Vught, J., Schott, G., & Marczak, R. (2012). Understanding player experience finding a usable model for game classification. Proceedings of The 8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment Playing the System, IE 2012; Auckland, July 21-22, 2012. Auckland , New Zealand.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6828
Digital games receive an age restriction classification rating based on their depiction of harmful content and its presumed impact on players. While classification processes serve as predictors of the subsequent interactions between player and game text they remain largely inferential and an exercise in caution. Confounded by the medium's interactive nature, we argue that classification processes would benefit from research that provides empirical accounts of the interactive experience of games. This paper presents findings taken from a research project with the aim of operationalizing over a decade of Game Studies theorization on the distinct quality of games. The intention is to produce an empirically validated model of media 'usage,' capable of informing regulation processes and the classification of games (within a New Zealand context). Here we draw on findings achieved from one component of our mixed methodology research design  - A structured diary method that was employed to allow game players to chronicle different elements of their gameplay experience with a single text as they progressed through it. The findings serve to highlight the applied value of Game Studies' theory and its capacity to account 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.