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Which way from here? The spatiality of maps & navigation in first-person single-player video games

Queensland University of Technology
Publication Date
  • Video Games
  • Spatiality
  • Trialectic Spatiality
  • Navigational Aids
  • Fallout 3
  • Bioshock
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Player experience of spatiality in first-person, single-player games is informed by the maps and navigational aids provided by the game. This project uses textual analysis to examine the way these maps and navigational aids inform the experience of spatiality in Fallout 3, BioShock and BioShock 2. Spatiality is understood as trialectic, incorporating perceived, conceived and lived space, drawing on the work of Henri Lefebvre and Edward Soja. The most prominent elements of the games’ maps and navigational aids are analysed in terms of how they inform players’ experience of the games’ spaces. In particular this project examines the in-game maps these games incorporate, the waypoint navigation and fast-travel systems in Fallout 3, and the guide arrow and environmental cues in the BioShock games.

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