Quotes are From
- Burroughs, Benjamin. “Facebook and FarmVille: A Digital Ritual Analysis of Social Gaming.” Games and Culture, vol. 9, no. 3, May 2014, pp. 151–66. SAGE Journals, doi:10.1177/1555412014535663.
The term magic circle derives originally from the work of Johan Huizinga in his
book Homo Ludens (1949) that draws a distinction between the space of gameplay and the norms of everyday life. The inside of the magic circle has its own set
of rules, norms, and practices that are entered into upon crossing the threshold of the
barrier. It is important to conceptualize that barrier of the magic circle as a social
construction that is negotiated around game time and space.
Within the chalk
line, there are three main ways to understand the framework of that game-play: rules,
play, and culture. The rules are the formal restrictions of the player in the game that
have closed systems, while play is defined as the human interactions that take place
in the space that can be opened or closed. Culture is the relation to cultural tropes
present in the game that result for Salen and Zimmerman in widely open systems.
The focus then is on the magic circle as a frame that carves out the time and space
of the game world
Grant McCracken’s (1986) four different kinds of consumer rituals:
158 Games and Culture 9(3) exchange rituals, possession rituals, grooming rituals, and divestment rituals.
Exchange Ritual. More labor exchanged = system of reciprocity = social cohesion.
Consumer Rituals. Affirmation of Ownership = personalization = discussion of achievements = declaration of involvement in world.
Grooming Rituals. Repetitive Practice = Symbolic meaning = Deep Investment = Checking In = Connection to Game Space.
Divestment Ritual. Removal of Imprint of Original Owner = Regifting = Ease of Transition = Relationship within members of the community.
Magic Circle & Third Spaces are liminalities.
Victor Turner (1969) extensively describes the liminal phase as a ritual state of
transition or threshold. Liminal periods are moments of rupture in the normality
of time and space. They serve as these times of transition where identities become
malleable as the in-between space becomes meaningful for stepping outside the
structures of power and constructing social bonds.
Ritualized play as a form of decompression. FarmVille is both play and labor (plabor).