ABSTRACT

A concrete and undisputed definition of video games has proven remarkably elusive, due to the many conflicting views on what their defining characteristics are, both from secular and academic observers of the phenomenon. Video games have risen to become one of the most consequential phenomena in contemporary media which has garnered interest and scrutiny from several fields of academic study, while also allowing for the rise of game studies. A concrete and undisputed definition of video games has proven remarkably elusive, due to the many conflicting views on what their defining characteristics are, both from secular and academic observers of the phenomenon. Many aspects of Johan Huizinga’s definition are problematic and have been contested in academic circles. Specifically, the idea that games promote the formation of secret groups who stress their differences from the common world echoes until today in the idea of a gamer culture and a gamer identity.