100-Percenting It: Videogame Play Through the Eyes of Devoted Gamers1

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We describe salient aspects of the idioculture of videogame play, based on interviews conducted with 20 devoted videogame players and several hours of observation of small-group game play. We explore the meaningfulness of videogame play for participants, specifically through an examination of the social quality of play, interaction during play, the enactment of status differences in and through play, and players’ desire to play games perfectly and/or completely. We elicit players’ comments about acceptable and unacceptable forms of cheating, and we explore their management of the stigma attached to playing violent games and playing excessively. We conclude by highlighting game players’ penchant for finding moral content in their favorite games and game characters.

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