Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Policing the Sandbox in Grand Theft Auto Online”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew T. & Fleisch, Michael. “Policing the Sandbox in Grand Theft Auto Online,” Media Fields 8 (2014).

 

Abstract:

From the issue’s introduction: “The first essay in this issue, Matthew Thomas Payne and Michael Fleisch’s “Policing the Sandbox in Grand Theft Auto Online” explores the theme of the playground directly. Considering RockStar’s machinations in Grand Theft Auto Online against players’ attempts to manipulate the economic structure of the game’s open world, Payne and Fleisch highlight the fraught politics of policing a space that on its surface purports to offer players a world in which rules are made to be broken. In this sense, play takes on a para-ludic character as cunning players find ways to manipulate the game’s virtual marketplace while the developer moves to protect a vested interest in the game’s real economic potential, carefully curated micro-transactions.”

Categories
Edited Book Chapters

“Connected Viewing, Connected Capital: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Connected Viewing, Connected Capital: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens.” Connected Viewing: Selling, Sharing, and Streaming Media in a Digital Era. Edited by Jennifer Holt and Kevin Sanson (New York: Routledge, 2014): 183-201.

From the anthology’s Introduction:
“Matthew Thomas Payne considers how gamers participate in transmedia play as a way to connect with fellow players, and how these extended forms of immersion add interest in franchises and build users’ gaming capital.” (p. 10)

Categories
Articles (refereed)

“Stories from the Seats of Power: Chopper versus Chopper as Dueling Travelogues”

Citation:

Payne, Matthew Thomas & Michael Fleisch. “Stories from the Seats of Power: Chopper versus Chopper as Dueling Travelogues.” Well Played: A Journal on Video Games, Value, and Meaning 2.1 (2012).

Abstract:

The “Chopper versus Chopper” multiplayer game mode included in Grand Theft Auto IV’s expansion pack, “The Lost and the Damned” (2009), pits one gamer on a motorcycle against another piloting an assault helicopter in alternating rounds where the pilot must eliminate the biker before the latter scores points by crossing a series of checkpoints. The design of this one-on-one game mode is notable for elegantly distilling a massive and complex synthetic environment into a singularly focused affair between two combatants that fosters competing ways of seeing and understanding their shared space, as well as inciting emergent narratives of narrow escapes and fantastic collisions that draw gamers back round after round.

Categories
Other essays

“Broadband of Brothers: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “Broadband of Brothers: Fostering Gameplay Across Screens.” White Paper presented to Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. Sponsored by Warner Bros. and the University of California at Santa Barbara (2012).

Executive Summary:
This report evaluates the efficacy of second screen applications to incentivize repeated gameplay sessions in online, multiplayer video games. Specifically, this research project analyzes the multiplatform support applications for two best-selling military shooters: “Elite,” for Activision’s Modern Warfare 3, and “Battlelog,” for Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3. During the project’s six-week data gathering phase, fifteen participants kept detailed journals chronicling their hundreds of hours of collective gameplay while using these support apps. The participants also completed numerous questionnaires during that period. The data was later coded and analyzed to assess if “Elite” and “Battlelog” positively affected the participants’ online experiences. The report finds that the second screen applications amplified participants’ engagement with the video games because “Elite” and “Battlelog” gave the participants insider knowledge and strategies for subsequent play sessions.

Categories
Edited Book Chapters

“F*ck You, Noob Tube!: Learning the Art of Ludic LAN War”

Citation:
Payne, Matthew Thomas. “F*ck You, Noob Tube!: Learning the Art of Ludic LAN War.” Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games. Edited by Nina B. Huntemann and Matthew T. Payne (New York: Routledge, 2009): 206-222.

From the anthology’s Introduction:
“In the second chapter on players, Matthew Payne reports on his participant observations of a gaming center to explore the social codes and conventions present in a commercial play space. Payne’s ethnography finds that the dynamic gaming environment is shaped as much by the war-oriented texts as it is by the devoted players who frequent the gaming center.The “ludic war” experience that Payne details highlights how militarism and gaming technologies influence play behavior that dominates a semi-public, shared play space.” (p. 15)