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Playing games has been part of human culture and civilization from the very start. One quality of play is that it deeply engages the player, to the point where he or she may lose track of time and space. This level of absorption in play was described by the Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga (1949) as “the very essence, the primordial quality of play” (pp. 2–3) and may help explain the fascination with and high engagement in computer gaming.

Gameplay is necessarily bound by rules and stands outside normal life, while offering the player the possibility to connect to others whilst pursuing shared game goals. Gameplay is different from ordinary life and provides opportunities to expand social interactions and perceptions of identity. With the emergence of ...

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