Current human-computer interaction (HCI) research into video games rarely considers how they are different from other forms of software. This leads to research that, while useful concerning standard issues of interface design, does not address the nature of video games as games specifically. Unlike most software, video games are not made to support external, user-defined tasks, but instead define their own activities for players to engage in. We argue that video games contain systems of values which players perceive and adopt, and which shape the play of the game. A focus on video game values promotes a holistic view of video games as software, media, and as games specifically, which leads to a genuine video game HCI.

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Keywords Activity theory, Computer games, Play, Semiotics, Value, Video games
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Journal Interacting with Computers
Barr, P. (Pippin), Noble, J. (James), & Biddle, R. (2007). Video game values: Human-computer interaction and games. Interacting with Computers, 19(2), 180–195. doi:10.1016/j.intcom.2006.08.008