‘This must be the place’: Understanding video game placeness through atmosphere and the refrain in Dark Souls | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-191X
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1928

Abstract

This article explores how atmosphere is implicated in the establishment of place in gameworlds through the concept of the ‘refrain’. The atmosphere of a video game is often one of the most memorable constituents of our ludic experiences and is defining of the video game places we encounter during play, yet atmospheres remain highly under-researched and under-theorized within game studies. The article introduces some key theories of atmosphere and explain their relation to ‘place’ and subsequently explore how ‘place’ has been theorized and developed within game studies. I then elaborate on how atmosphere, understood existentially, is conducive to the creation of an atmosphere by addressing the examples of ’ hub area and boss arenas. Working through the Deleuze–Guattarian concept of ‘refrain’, I argue that patterns of sound, images and behaviours establish a territory marked by a certain affective intensity, or atmosphere, enabling the experience of place.

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2022-07-01
2024-02-25
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): affect; ambience; Deleuze; Heidegger; mood; phenomenology; space
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