Game studies draws together a number of different domains – those of gamers, academics, industry members, independent organizations, and policy makers, to name a few – all of which bring with them their own histories. Though young, the field of digital game studies is already well supplied with home truths and embedded paradigms. Key among these is linear or Albertian perspective, which functions as a structural model for gamespace, and, to a large extent, as an epistemological model for the discourse that studies it. Within the field of game studies, interactivity still tends to be understood as a predominately visual and semiotic activity – a kind of rhetorical performance loop.
Approaches to gaming and interactivity remain incomplete, however, if they operate only on the semantic or semiotic level. As any player knows, the rush you get from a good game is not confined to the space of the screen; it is a subrational, bodily thing as well, involving phenomenological or affective dimensions which cannot be programmed into a game, but which are nonetheless vital to gameplay. Affect is key to the perception of images, and to the notion of meaningful interaction with them.