Affective Game Topologies: Any-Space-Whatevers – Felicity J. Colman

Abstract Felicity J. Colman opens up the variety of virtual positions and affective regimes with which we form space and play-place. Drawing on Deleuze and Guattari, the piece considers the orientation to action of gaming bodies through intensities of affect. The modality of such auto-affections allows response by other bodies in motion, and in this invitation to response constitutes the potential for community and political engagement within and beyond its own space.


First games and first lessons. The garden soon became the centre of my world; the library, an enchanted cave. I used to read and play with my cousins and schoolmates. There was a fig tree, temple of vegetation, four pine trees, three ash trees, a nightshade, a pomegranate tree, wild grass and prickly plants that produced purple grazes. Adobe walls. Time was elastic; space was a spinning wheel. All time, past or future, real or imaginary, was pure presence. Space transformed itself ceaselessly. . . The world was limitless yet it was always within reach; time was a pliable substance that weaved an unbroken present. (Octavio Paz – Nobel Lecture 1990)

Recall the last game you played. At any age, any time, any theme. With or without propsand scenery, with or without machinery or electronics. What thresholds were crossed? What boundaries were marked out? How was the energy generated by the game disseminated, what were the power distributions at the end of the session? What part(s) of your body – organ, bone, skin, muscle – ached from the repetition of activity at the end of your play session? The Mexican Poet-critic Octavio Paz’s theme of imaginative play-space outlines such forms of accumulative movement through the thinking of space as a concept place that creates energy forms. This chapter will discuss how the enacting of what I will term a play-place, turns the body of the game player into a bundle of perceptual possibilities, a site where a range of affective relations can be generated from the singular activities of play. Within the assembled dimensions of game-play, communication with aspects of the real, physical world of the player are enacted. Point by physical point, the player mimics the prescribed code pathways for play. In an ongoing acceleration of possibilities, this space transforming play act surges with the learned gestures of the player, and the play in turn immediately effects those acts, altering the affective place of play. The play place continuously creates the space, as a coded, physical knowledge.

The Euclidean tradition of the thinking of space as an “empty” area constituted by distances between points has long been overtaken with the knowledge that space is not a concrete entity, rather it is an abstract concept, like time, and is constituted by events intuited and imagined, and organizations virtual and real. Paz’s garden play space has to be imagined to become real. Looking at everyday spaces in our lives, we can describe space as an affective ecology that is determined by and determines its consuming subjects – for example the prescriptive roles cast by the spaces of the market place, transport, domestic settings, work places. The play-place can be any space – in a tree, the string web of the game of cat’s cradle, hopscotch squares, a scout’s tent, a child’s tea-party, electronic sites, language puns, bedroom and mind games. All of these places engage a becoming player, that is, the player who transforms, as the game does, as the play progresses and shifts course. The play place creates a perpetual action-affection-perception, where singular possibilities are spun together to produce the conglomerate whole of the play experience.

Following Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of the structure and continuous re-formation of any body along with other bodies, the terms of any recognition of the concept of space within game play will be discussed here as affective movements between the player and the play’s determinate spaces of sensibility, both smooth and striated (cf Deleuze and Guattari 1987: plateau 14). A striated space is one where control is exercised through governance, creating an homogeneous space of coding. At the most insidious level of striated coding, we can think of the U.S. Military’s use of video games such as Full Spectrum Warrior, developed at the Institute for Creative Technologies, Marina Del Ray, California for training purposes, and the potential socio-cultural outcomes of such training in place-place for the negotiation of a politicised striated (controlling) space. A smooth space is to be found in Paz’s garden, or in the memory of the affective sense of a “limitless spinning wheel of space”. The play-place of smooth space is where one can ‘lose oneself’ (Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 93), in intensive sensory and perceptual experiences that immersive game play can achieve, as I will contend, even within striated situations.

The degree of dynamic and ongoing affection of the conceptual play-place is dependent upon the levels of control the play-place exerts upon the creativity of the player. Today the idea-place is sold as an already striated space of intellectual property, in our ‘control societies’ that affectively operate through means other than discipline (Deleuze 1995:174). Control societies of the (Intellectual Property) IP-place screen are what create the “socialized spaces” that have for the majority of society replaced the disciplinary control of previous years (Deleuze 1995; Foucault 1977). Through control of all levels of communication, the power relations of the play-place that make “proper” (as in “nameable”) spaces – “threatening”, “parodic”, “referential”, which in turn signal the generic system being remapped through that cartography of socio-cultural-political place-parts. The majority of spaces are already prefigured in terms of their utility and function, whereas the play place can ignore, transgress, or supplement space. Needs dictate the product of the space, and the relational dimension between places are maintained through determining concepts, which, like the example of the IP network, ‘control the relations between individuals and communities’ (Stiegler 2005: 2).

Affective Communities

The affective power of a play-place can be explored through a consideration of how acting in a specific ludic territory produces an interactive modality, that in turn causes a physical change in not only the game-world’s spatial configuration, but also in the player’s conscious and tacit perception of non-gaming spatial organizations.

In thinking about game play, we often invent narratives to articulate the affective grouping of events that take place under the rubric of play, and direct the subjective movement through the game. However, the determined “narrative” can only ever employ predetermined, illusory forms that mimic the shapes of historically learned socialities and institutions. If not already stable, a narrative form’s predictive energy will striate the game system even further, rendering the striated space ingrained, immovable, judgmental, and fully at the service of the State.

The spatial movements engendered through and by the acts and gestures controlled by specific games affect the determination of the spatial model of play. This is what we might term the Alice in Wonderland effect, wherein the configuration of the spatial structure (of play) is constantly co-forming itself with the subject of interaction (the player) and the other mutating elements within the player’s course. In other words, the game effect is one wherein the fascination of entering and engaging in different spatial platforms of reality, and the intensive “rush” of finding multiple ways of existing in those various dimensions, affectively alters physical existence after immersion within such ecologies.

Proper names:Alice, Buffy, Lain, Lara, Barbie, Pauline, a Princess, Adobe walls, any block that represents the matter of a body, a surface. A game system requires a body-player to activate its site. This play-place requires another body to engage in relations that will produce different effects, in turn affecting both bodies. The singular objects of avatars, game archetypes, the Pong or Tetris block, you the player, the opponent, you the watcher, are the virtual points that engage with the fixed game system, thereby altering its systematic patterns and play modalities. When acting in ludic territory, these game personas and archetypes produce (smooth and/or striated) spatial affects, which in turn produce a refiguring of the system’s assembled qualities. For example, the potentially infinite set structures of Tetris convey this quality of the ordering of the smooth into the striated through the piecing together of the assemblage-to-become. In this sense, play is a movement that builds space through structure, a semiology of space-construction. The play is the smooth-becoming, the end-point, event-structure, the striation, predetermined, predictable.

It is often noted that the nature of reality is an ever-changing flux of unique qualities – dependent on the positioning of a specific body’s perception of this fluxing of distinctive forms and boundaries. In addition to this observation, we can be aware that if perception is made up of memory, experience, and knowledge then the occupation of (a ludic or any other) space is determined by the degrees of perceptual and physical intensities. Intensity in physical terms may be charted through the spatial behaviour of the body in question; the player and the modes of occupancy of the game space that the player takes and engenders. The recognition of intensity in perceptual terms comes about through a partial engagement of the range of possible perceptual axes when imagining the configuration of a body (for example, the self), within space. Perceptual axes include abstract concepts such as the infinite modalities of time, spatial sensory cognition, and limits of knowledge thresholds. We could parse of this type of perceptual cognition with a dogmatic cogito. Yet, in game places, movement occurs in place, not space. The place of the dance-floor; dance-games. The place of the mobile communication, location aware en-joined virtual; mobile-games. The place of the public on-line game: chance-connection-games. The outcomes for behaviour within a place are not always as yet invented (obviously dependant upon the type of game one is playing). As Paz noted, his garden was always within reach, a place that could become any imagined site or voyage, creating a virtual in place, a physical site to be engaged, but whose place configuration lay the possibilities of multiple play-places. The more tightly structured the game place, the more the possibility becomes probability of play-place form. There are a number of vectors (possible points) that work to reconfigure the contents, direction, and form of the play-place – one might further investigate the implications of the Derridean notion of “event” and multi-centeredness in terms of this configuration (1978). These vectors include temporal modalities, subjective factors (such as semantic interpretation), and a de-spatialized body in play, which operates as a sensory receptor, machinic surface, vibrationary whole, an automoton body (cf. Deleuze and Guattari’s plateau 6: ‘How Do you Make Yourself a Body Without Organs? 1987). Temporal vectors are what cut through this in-placed strata to engender tertiary sites, but only after recognition of the gestures required to perform the motions of the milieu are made and enacted. Access to this place may be through mnemonic devices and machinic means, but it is only through the player’s navigation of the semiological field of the play-place, as a player’s sensate physical systematic patterning is directing the interpretation and treatment of game information. Different forms of intensity are thus created by play-places. Dynamic momentum for the play depends on the interface level by the player’s sensate driving forces, and their subsequent place within exponentially gleaned ability in the ‘acquired worlds’ of the play-place (cf Merleau-Ponty 1962: 130).

Affective Place

To navigate from the beginning of a play-place to the end level / end story / end goal / end of the race /end experience/ end of consumable time, has been to pass through configurations of the game world. Perceptual awareness of time/space affects on the player involve interface physics. In all spatial interfaces (spatial “realities”, media-scapes, game worlds), we experience every another body through sensory interface — audition, haptic, visual, and olfactory perception — all of which stimulate and direct motor perception, guiding and directing our bodies’ responses through and behaviour within these sites. Game-spaces are configured at a variety of representational levels, re-produced, and produced by the body’s concrete and intuitive knowledge of the physical properties of space. In the illusory surfaces of the (game) world and its entities, biological, experiential and observed ways of acting in physical, weighted spaces cause the player to respond to recognizable situations as a sensate body in space: I skate, I sing, I surf, I sex. The interface with other surfaces, and other sensate points produces different affect outcomes for discrete bodies, not all of which are known or connected as parts of the whole game.

In the video game Legend of Zelda, a “Secret Room” is configured like the floor plan of a Greek temple. This “room” is a two dimensional thing in the real world, but because of the mnemonic architectural configurations, it has the capacity to persuade, and control all forms of bodily related activities — political affiliations, gender and sexual preferences, social roles, and the movement of the player. Different cultures employ explicit devices for configuring communicative mnemonic blocks, devices for the effective retrieval and ordering of memory and histories. These devices control our perceptual negotiation through place, affectively striating our brain-bodies into serving particular paradigms of being and acting. Henri Lefebvre reminds us that civic spaces have historically constructed ‘absolutes spaces’ to function as codes for reifying the political and cultural dimensions of specific societies’ living. As Lefebvre notes absolute space as been the historical product of ‘the bonds of consanguinity, soil, and language’ (1991: 48). These absolutes might be gestures or token fragments of “real world” sites for the performances of coming of age rites, ceremonies of life, collaborations of ritual practices, and magic. The tourist sites that parse natural wonders such as caves, waterfalls, cliff faces, have become such absolute places, and they also exist as purpose built in both towns and county — Stonehenge, Greek temples, shrines and temples. In any game that utilizes an agrarian based mythology of a pre-industrial, religious, magical, or mythological realm, unexplored, or early settlement you often find examples of such absolute spatial gestures that operate at the exclusion and absolute carpeting of any indigenous consideration of place. The material objects occupying the game space might be thought of in terms of such absolutes. As stable devices (equipment, data, spells, potions, weapons, the scout’s tent, the skipping rope, the whips) they are the mechanical systems that help the mobile navigator orient themselves within the space. As striated systems they provide stable data, rules, limitations, and a way of measuring (and merchandising) the navigator-as-player’s skills and prowess within the play-place.

Affective Play

The play-place is activated by the brain-body of the player. Specific games, like specific spatial zones, produce different economies of intensity, which in turn dictate what occurs in terms of passageways and thresholds of occupational meaning. [1] Different types of performative methods (activities, deeds, attributes, dialogues) are modalities of perceptual intensities (cf Deleuze and Guattari 1987: 153). A game creates a dynamic site, yet in the creation and activity required to execute the play-place, an ‘order’ is always created (Huizinga [1938] 1970: 29). We can recognize the characteristics of this “ordered” place in terms of the intensive qualities generated by the play as an actioning of space.

A broad range of theorizations of such conceptions of space as an actioned-place exist, here let me just mention two important conceptions of play-places. Roger Callois famously charted the attributes of the variations of game orders according to their play form, seeking classifications of game paidia and ludus (1961: 13). Looking for common qualities in terms of the behavioural outcomes of play-places, Callois organised games into type: agôn (competition) or alea (chance), and spatial outcome, mimicry (simulation), and ilinx (vertigo) (1961: 36). While Callois discusses the human need for a behavioural order that drives play-actions, screen theorist Angela Ndalianis has discussed the structural seriality inherent in the production of contemporary media forms, including video games. Ndalianis has extensively discussed how this serial form’s variation occurs through the en-folding of contemporary media forms, and how this in turn produces an elastic and infinitely layered ‘neo-baroque’ affective space for the spectator (2004). In both Callois and Ndalianis’s models, play-places are paradigmatic structures that propel the player through space through a structure of “enfolding” (Ndalianis: 81) of the player-spectator’s ‘essential and irreducible impulses’ (Callois: 14) within the designated space of play. Both theorists respectively describe the extensive psychasthenic affects of play-places as generative of intensive worlds of experience. Here I am interested to sketch a model that further directs our thought to the intensive operations of the affective play-place.

The idea of affect is easily embraced by all lovers of play, as affect articulates the sense of a passion; the power of something to move something else into a different place of conscious being as a continual becoming. Think of the intensity experienced in the engagement with a game. In this, Spinoza’s sense of affect is specific to the thinking of a body thus engaged (cf Spinoza 1982: 77). Utilized by Deleuze and Guattari, Spinozan affect is a non-representational, relational force that continually remoulds and modifies the (oblivious, implicit or dynamically) engaged body (1987: 256-257). [2] Whether active or passive in terms of a body (either living or inorganic), an affect indicates the transitive power at play upon the bodies involved, an expressive logic of forms (cf Seigworth 2005). An “affection” is an additive and or subtractive process, the result of the mix of bodies or forces (Colman, 2005). As such, we might think through the affective nature of the play-place, as either a smooth or striated space that enables a range of affective modalities that engender certain intensive states of being. An extension of this model could enable analysis and interpretation of the communication of certain themes, outcomes, ideas about game-play and/of specific designs of virtual identities and avatar archetypes. For now, I want to focus on those intensive spatial zones, as intensive play-places that operate as conceptual any-space-whatever (un espace quelconque), a term used by anthropologist Marc Augé, and developed by Deleuze for use in his discussion of movement in cinema (Deleuze 1986: 109-110), and I believe useful for the examination of play-places. [3]

Without wanting to collapse this concept into a taxonomy, a provisional outline of spatial modalities in play-places will illustrate the any-space-whatever’s use for approaching the thinking of the kinds of intensities produced in play. These are spatial modalities common to play-places, and the ways in which they might be modelled within a continuum of play:

1. Surfaces: (as) continuums, scales, (a)symmetries, labyrinthine structures, mirrors

2. Thresholds: (as) beginnings, entranceways, portals, hide and seek, amnesia driven quests, rock-paper-scissors, corporeal exchanges – clapping, skipping, sex

3. Passageways: (can be) transitional, rhizomatic, on-line communities, chasey games

4. Heterotopic sites: (are) topographical structures of accumulated time: libraries, museums, cemeteries, cinemas, games

To describe the virtual order worlds of the play-place, we can conceptualize such modal spaces as fields of mutating energies and forces. The dimensions of play within each virtual production become specific within the actions required to perform/create the play-place, thus rendering space as “singular” within the possibilities afforded in affective play. As Deleuze writes of the complex variations created by an expressed affect (for example, the ‘“signifiable complex” of a proposition’ such as a game), space becomes an any-space-whatever which ‘is not an abstract universal, in all times, in all places. It is a perfectly singular space, which has merely lost its homogeneity, that is, the principle of metric relations or the connection of its own parts, so that the linkages can be made in a number of infinite ways. It is a space of virtual conjunction, grasped as a locus of the possible’ (1986: 105; 110). This space of the “virtual conjunction” is where the play-place, as a place existing within the smooth and the striated spaces of the world, can construct multiple ecologies of being. These sites enable a reflexive play consciousness to develop, wherein the player can see themselves playing, through becoming aware of their movements, and the limitations of movement within game engine.

To move from one play place to another; one affectively virtual game space to another – be it to another chalk drawn square, another “room”, another “realm”, another “dimension” of play, one needs to use game inventories, strategies, conceptual and virtual keys, to make the movement from place to place. A movement and pressure from the necessary body parts perform and completes tasks to achieve points, to move play-places — a roll of the dice, un coup de hazard. It is the physical dynamics of the players’ corporeal and sensory engagement in place that determine the relations of previously configured and as yet imagined spaces. This space is the result of, and formed by affective play. This any-space-whatever is a singular place, wherein the brain-body dynamics of determination and response to the dimensions of touch, sound, colour, movement, and olfactory information dilate to become a state of becoming at play. In this affective ecology extrinsic factors such as chronos recede, and decisions become auto-sensory and auto-affective.

The (Mutating) Forms of my Play-Place

It is the player of the game who enables the spatial properties of the specific game, for the purposes of the continuity of play. An avatar the size of an insect, or a human? What can your play body do? Gamer and game are enantiomorphous. The player becomes one with the game, matching the reality of the play-place, yet somehow the two don’t quite fit together. It seems that the reflective memory of the game ecology has been altered through the players affection by one or more of the (above mentioned) spatial modalities of play. In play-places, well known Classical spatial scales and physical laws can be distorted or ignored, depending on how bodies are constructed and their use within the play-place. How individual players respond to game spaces depends on a range of factors. If play equals the successful agitation of objects in game spaces, then play must affect the role that our senses play in cognition. In this sense play equals the agitation of objects in any-space-whatever, resulting in a certain form of intensity being produced in the play-place.

Space provides a specific material realm for the player – recognisable, classifiable, categorized as an immediate environment. The player is translator of game movement in space. There is a basic a : b relationship set up through movement in the play place, where a translation of components of space results in a change in the place topology as an affective whole. [4] For example, a frequent play scenario involves (a) the exploration of a play-realm, requiring the finding of a certain thing (b) to “unlock” or progress to the next place of play. If you have expanded the territory of your game world through opening up more places to play in, then the change is “in kind” — the fundamental sequence / structure of the game world remains the same. Games are topographical structures where the virtually created spaces may be stretched, expanded, and distances do not remain fixed. Play-place elements mutate — inventories can alter, the breadth of play components to be utilized may expand or contract, while still maintaining given place and status, and contexts or the nature of play may shift. Topological spaces involve transformations within the paradigm of the structure, but the engagement of the singular terms of the any-space-whatever will alter the form and level of intensity of the play-place, through the types of “virtual conjunctions” that are made and staged in play.

What anchors the spatial community of any game is the body of the player. The body provides and determines the cerebral topology of the game form. That is, the movement the gamer generates within the play-place causes a disturbance to the spatial site, through a range of non-spatialised, modal sensations caused by the variety of actions and gestures of play. The sense of “space” in the game is created, and recreated at every instant, through the fitting together of the assembled components of the game-system. The game and player be-come together as a play-machine, inseparable as mobile parts implementing movement. This movement has scales of meaning within the axes of the systemic site: an execution, performance, or completion of a task, or just to render an effect, a colour, a certain register of intensity within the moment of movement (cf. Street Fighter: Kapow!). There is an ‘inseparability’ to the bodies participating in the play-place, where the players are enfolded within the surfaces of the game (Deleuze 1993: 107-8). In this sense we can observe that the space of the game produces the body of the player because the space and laws of the play-place change and shift once the player as navigator interacts.

In 1996, Meridian 59, the first MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer On-line Role-Playing Game) was developed. This game was distinguished from a MUD with its added graphics and 1st person perspective. MMRPG game worlds and their populations (Doom, EverQuest, Counter-Strike, Lineage) illustrate the political economy of a community’s growth and behaviour. The implications for evolution of identity within the collectives formed within Multiplayer online games are immense. In spatial terms, the relations between characters are continuously arriving at threshold zones and event points, and the direction of these limit points is determined through reaction, causing a reconfiguration of the identity functions of the play and player.

Within these online game worlds you may have enabled avatars from the same species/type/rank/form/gender/ that are identical to another player’s avatar on the other side of the world (or room, or city). But because of individual players reactions to the same game world environment, resources, and potentialities for play, the development of these two play figures will be different. There are different virtual conjunctions at play, giving rise to alternate relations of play. This difference causes a divergence within the spatial configuration of the play, what we can also describe as the milieu of the game world. A shared communal spatial realm is witnessed in the development and growth patterns of populations and collective identity as a result of the online occupation of virtual places. These play-places perfectly illustrate Darwin’s concept of “differential relations”, that is, the multiplicities and shifts in development of the species that are enabled by the different reactions generated from genetic and corporeal reactions to different environments by the same species. What I’m attempting to describe here is not Espen Aarseth’s questioning of the commercial ethics of game development (2002) (although that’s one way you could go with this line of thought). Nor am I thinking of Lev Manovich’s excellent observation about the 21st century being about life being consumed by cultural applications of technology (2001). Rather, I’m framing how the interactivity of play causes a physical change in the play-place’s spatial configuration, through the process of auto-affection. At its core, perhaps the interactive experience has a social aesthetics that can communicate a divergence (or disruption) to striated spaces in its play-actualization and reconfiguration of virtual social, cultural and political spaces. In other words, virtual events enacted in any-space-whatever can augment (enlarge) reality, and become an auto-affective place wherein the community becomes spatial information, and the play-place modality communicates political intensities.

The space of the online network implies limitless flows, giant associative machines whose spatial organization has the potential to be massively disruptive to economic communities. Children are forever operating within such utopic thresholds of knowledge of systems and structures. To observe and to recall the ritual and game paradigms of child-play is to credit how gestures are given meaning by the context of the ever-mutating game. The extension of any already mimicked and thereby learned gesture crosses other, multiple, thresholds — opening a further surface of spatial positioning. The Alice in Wonderland paradigm provides an obvious illustration of this distinction between the moment of the event of threshold imagination; the fascination of platforms of reality, and multiple ways of existing in those various dimensions; performing a continuous character — being self-organised and becoming through gesture. Following Benjamin’s reading of Kafka’s medieval gestus, we can understand that in game play, being a character and stylistically performing that character create a singular form (Benjamin 1969: 129). A surface is because of its gesture’s form. This form enables other forms to recognize and respond, and come to hold particular relations within that spatial milieu, or economy of energy and movement.

After playing a simple car-racing X-Box game with my daughter, aged six, her cognisance of the movements and rules of “real” road travel are forever altered, with her extorting me to overtake other cars to ensure that our car is in the lead of the vehicle pack. The play-place has affected her semantic interpretation of other spatial-systems, enlarging her ability to translate and manage the behaviour of other bodies in relation to her own movement. This observation may be naïve in its general dimension, but my point here is simply that the reactive behaviour learned in the game world affects corporeal knowledge, resulting in a migration of the virtual media experience to the physicality of vernacular dimensions. It is with this type of knowledge that game designers (such as Gonzalo Frasca [5]) have brought current events to the fore with on-line games that directly engage the body of the player with politicised play-places. The player is not the spectator in the sense of being a passive spectator of screen media. Engaging in the play of a politicised event that surrounds murder, terrorist activity, political stupidity, religious beliefs requires the player to engage in the principles of ethical differentiation. How we translate and manage that affective knowledge will propel our affective dynamic into the world. Although, as Deleuze and Guattari argue, ‘Never believe that a smooth space will suffice to save us’ (1987: 500).


This article is a result of synergistic work with two colleagues: thanks are due to Angela Ndalianis for her professional generosity, innovative and inspirational scholarship, and to Christian McCrea for his patient debates on what constitutes play.



Aarseth, Espen. 2002. ‘The Dungeon and the Ivory Tower: Vive La Difference ou Liason Dangereuse?’ Games Studiesvol 2, 1, July.

Bachelard, Gaston. 1969. The Poetics of Space Boston: Beacon.

Bauman, Zygmunt. 2000. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge, England: Polity Press.

Bech, Henning. 1997. When Men Meet: Homosexuality and ModernityCambridge: Polity.

Bell, David. 2000. The Sexual Citizen: Queer Politics and Beyond Cambridge: Polity.

Benjamin, Walter. 1969. “Franz Kafka” in Illuminations Trans. by Harry Zohn. Hannah Arendt (ed.)New York: Schocken.

Bhabha,Homi. 1994. The Location of Culture. London: Routledge.

Borden, Iain. 2001. Skateboarding, Space and the City: Architecture and the Body. Oxford and New York: Berg.

Brent-Ingram, Bouthilette, Retter Eds. 1997. Queers in Space: Communities, Public Places, Sites of Resistance. Seattle: Bay.

Cache, Bernard. 1995. Earth Moves: The Furnishing of Territories. MIT

Callois, Roger. 1961 [1958]. Man, Play and Games. Trans. By Meyer Barash. New York: The Free Press.

Colman, Felicity. 2005. ‘Affect’ in The Deleuze Dictionary Adrian Parr (ed.) Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Colman, Felicity and Christian McCrea. 2005. ‘Gestures Towards the Digital Maypole’ in “Mobility, New Social Intensities and the Coordinates of Digital Networks”, special edition of Fibreculture Journal A.Murphie and L.Hjorth (eds.)

Consalvo, Mia. 2003. ‘It’s a Queer World After All: Studying The Sims and Sexuality’ Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Research paper.

Accessed May 2005.

Deleuze, Gilles. 1986 [1983]. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image Trans. by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

—. 1989 [1985]. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Trans. by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

—. 1993[1988]. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque Trans. by Tom Conley.Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

—. 1995 [1990]. ‘Control and Becoming’ and ‘Postscropt on Control Societies’ in Negotiations:1972-1990 Trans. By Martin Joughin. New York: Columbia University Press: 169-182.

Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1987 [1980]. Plateau 14: ‘1440: The Smooth and the Striated’ in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Trans. by Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press: 474-500.

Derrida, Jacques. 1978 [1967]. ‘Structure, sign, and play in the discourse of the human sciences’ in Writing and Difference. Trans. by Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Foucault, Michel. 1977 [1975]. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prision. Trans. by Allan Sheridan. London: Penguin.

Frasca, Gonzalo. 2003. ‘Simulation vs. Narrative: Introduction to Ludology’ in The Video Game Theory Reader Mark J.P. Wolf and Bernard Perron. Eds. New York : Routledge: 221-235.

Huizinga, Johan. 1970 [1938]. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. London: Temple Smith.

Kwinter, Sanford. 2001. Architectures of Time: Toward a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: MIT Press.

Lefebvre, Henri. 1991 [1974]. The Production of Space. Trans. By Donald Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell.

Manovich, Lev. 2001. The Language of New Media Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 1962. Phenomenology of Perception. Trans. By Colin Smith. London: Routledge.

Ndalianis, Angela. 2004. Neo-Baroque Aesthetics and Contemporary Entertainment Cambridge, Massachusetts:The MIT Press.

Paz, Octavio. 1990. ‘Nobel Lecture’, December 8, 1990. Available at: accessed May 2005.

Seigworth, Gregory J. 2005. ‘From Affection to Soul’ in Gilles Deleuze: Key Concepts. Charles J. Stivale ed. London: Acumen: 159-169.

Sennett, Richard. 1994. Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization. London &Boston: Faber & Faber.

Steigler, Bernard. 2005 [2001]. ‘Our Ailing Educational Institutions’ Trans. By Stephan Herbrechter.Culture Machine: 5 the E-issue 1-13, accessed May 2005.

Spinoza, Baruch .1982 [1677]. The Ethics and Selected Letters Trans. Samuel Shirley. Indianapolis: Hackett.

Virilio, Paul. 1991. The Lost Dimension. New York: Semiotext(e)

Yates, Frances .1966. The Art Of Memory. London: Routledge Kegan Paul.


[1] For a discussion that raises the question of the sexual coding of spaces, see Mia Consalvo (2003) ‘It’s a Queer World After All: Studying The Sims and Sexuality’. For consideration of a game such as Grand Theft Auto 3, and the spatial configuration of prostitutes, in terms of the sexual fluidity present in travel spaces see theorist Henning Bech (1997).

[2]Beyond the scope of this chapter, a discussion of the affective reasons games are continually modified, or in the case of fixed formatted video games, the frustrations that arise from limited modification possibilities. Although in many simulation games some modification can occur, the “mod” enabling what Gonzalo Frasca terms ‘the meta-rule’ of the game’s “editorial” capacity for altering the rules (Frasca 2003).

[3] For further analysis of Deleuze’s conceptual transformation of Augé’s term see the essay by Reda Bensmaia (1997) in Der Film bei Deleuze/Le Cinema Selon Deleuze Oliver Fahle and Lorenz Engell Eds. Weimar/Paris: Verlag der Bauhaus-Universitat/Presses de la Sorbonne Nouvelle.

[4] Deleuze discusses this sense of physical movement through Henri Bergson’s concept of duration in his work on the Cinema as a movement-image (1983: 8).

[5] For example, the on-line games such as Gonzalo Frasca’s September 12 <>, games produced by the French ‘unigaz’ team including New York Defender, <>, Kick Bin Laden’s Butt and others at <>
and the Downing Street Fighter game, a satire covering the issues that confronted British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s  office at <>.
Accessed May 2005.

Author Bio

Dr. Felicity Colman still remembers how to play. She has published extensively around cinema and philosophy, and is the author of several forthcoming volumes. She awaits the utopic apocalypse, but in the meantime, teaches in the Screen Studies program at the University of Melbourne, Australia.