Digital Commons@RISD Home > Division of Liberal Arts > Contemporary Aesthetics (Journal Archive) > Vol. 6 (2008)
Can videogames be defined? The new field of games studies has generated three somewhat competing models of videogaming that characterize games as new forms of gaming, narratives, and interactive fictions. When treated as necessary and sufficient condition definitions, however, each of the three approaches fails to pick out all and only videogames. In this paper I argue that looking more closely at the formal qualities of definition helps to set out the range of definitional options open to the games theorist. A disjunctive definition of videogaming seems the most appropriate of these definitional options. The disjunctive definition I offer here is motivated by the observation that there is more than one characteristic way of being a videogame.