Analytical and ethical complexities in video game research

Mads Lund Andersen, Niklas Alexander Chimirri, Dorte Marie Søndergaard

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


A central issue that video game research seldom explicitly articulates are the ethical complexities involved in its empirical and analytical work. The presentation explores common research questions posed and analytical foci chosen by video game researchers subscribing to either the media effects tradition or to interdisciplinary Game Studies. Both fields, which tend to depict themselves as standing in opposition to one another, build on ethical assumptions that are deeply engrained in their respective research questions, analytical concepts and methodological tools. However, these ethical presumptions are little addressed in their respective discussions.
The relevance of acknowledging and situating ethical complexity becomes pertinent when alternatively taking a sociomaterial perspective on doing empirical and analytical work on video gaming. From an agential realist point of view, for instance, a researcher’s accountability makes it necessary to remain open to ethical renegotiations and analytical cuts across digital-analog spaces, as these unavoidably shift in relation to the manifold forces playing into situations of analytical concern. This is also underlined by other sociomaterial approaches, such as Critical Psychology. Empirical exemplifications will illustrate how a situated approach to ethics renders it possible to collectively pose analytical questions to video gaming and related concerns that open up for ethical ambivalences and renegotiations instead of predetermining them via research questions and analytical foci.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventDASTS 2016: Interpellating Future(s) - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 2 Jun 20163 Jun 2016 (Link to conference)


ConferenceDASTS 2016
LocationAarhus University
Internet address

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