The gaming condition: A report on knowledge
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Ontological problems plague the study of videogames. Scholars continue to define the videogame through competing enumerations of formal properties--such as narrative, rules, aesthetics, and computation--in a counter-productive effort to provide consistency to their shared object of study. In "The Gaming Condition: A Report on Knowledge," Adam Liszkiewicz argues that such consistency is impossible and that this fact is, ironically, the key to a responsible scholarly approach. The videogame is not a stable object but an unstable, subjective practice: a set of processes defined both individually and culturally, through and as human use. Because videogames are best understood as subjectively defined practices of play, videogame scholars must incorporate their subjective play practices into their scholarly practices. This thesis offers practice-based methodology as an example of a playful scholarly practice, demonstrates the utility of this methodology through a comparative case study of the games FarmVille and Minecraft , and concludes with an experimental, practice-based essay that challenges the limits of videogame scholarship.