Though often viewed as special category of games, sports is really an approach to play. The popular conception of the sporting mindset puts certain values ahead of others, and positioning games as a means to an end rather than an experience unto itself. Sometimes, the sporting mindset brings out the best in us; sometimes, the worst.
Sports as community institutions play a complex role in our culture. Sports produce values, behaviors, and cultural conventions that simultaneously include and exclude; that encourage and nurture some while rejecting others; and that celebrate aesthetic performance and violent behavior all at once. The essays here span a wide range of games—Crossfit but also Android: Netrunner; Destiny and baseball spectatorship; fantasy football in addition to streaming eSports. Each of the essays explores the way we think about play from a particular point of view either as players or as spectators.
The Well Played Journal is a forum for in-depth close readings of video games that parse out the various meanings to be found in the experience of playing a game. It is a reviewed journal with CfPs for submissions that will be released on a regular basis with high-quality essays.
- “Exploring the Sporting Metagames of Competitive Android: Netrunner”, by Sean C. Duncan
- “Playing the CrossFit Open 2018,” by Usva Friman and Riikka Turtiainen
- “Beating a fake normality: The phenomenon of e-athletes with special needs on Twitch.tv,” by Enrico Gandolfi and Richard E. Ferdig
- “Fantasy Football as Sport and Game,” Osvaldo Jiménez
- “The relation of play, fan culture and sports experience in the video game Destiny,” by Fares Kayali
- “The Story of Bonehead Merkle: Appraising the Fictional Component of Sports,” by Dr. Rory Summerley