GAMESCAPES: EXPLORATION AND VIRTUAL PRESENCE IN GAME-WORLDS
An analysis of the scope for exploration and the extent to which impressions of presence are created in domestic videogames. This paper argues that exploration is an important dimension of play in many games, whether employed in relation to other objectives or as a source of pleasure in its own right. The first part of the paper examines the relationship between freedom to explore and spatial constraint, arguing that many games offer a balance between the two, the precise nature of which varies from one type of game to another. The second part of the paper considers the extent to which different types of game offer illusions of presence in the game-world, from the distanced perspective of management and strategy games to the greater impression of sensory immersion created in games rendered in the first person.