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The Nature of Computer Games

Play as Semiosis

David Myers

What is the nature of computer games, and what happens when we play them? This book describes human play as a semiotic process and computer game play as a fundamental act of human cognition, or «semiosis». Offering one of the first fully articulated theories of computer games based on game play rather than game texts, The Nature of Computer Games mounts a serious challenge to literary critics, cultural theorists, and others who might assume computer game play is best understood with reference to preexisting social contexts. David Myers argues that computer game play displays a fundamentally intractable, self-reflexive structure – analogous to certain structures of thought – integral to language, consciousness, and our sense of self.