Play: A Procrustean Probe

Tom Tyler
2007 Conference of the Digital Games Research Association  
The brigand Procrustes dispatched his victims by stretching or trimming their bodies in order that they be made to fit his bed. Considered as a scientific theory, McLuhan's four "laws of media" risk violating research in a dangerously Procrustean manner. Conceived as an exploratory probe, however, his "tetrad" can provide illuminating insights into the social and psychological effects of individual technologies. Applied to digital games, the tetrad reveals the particular ways in which this
more » ... nctive cultural form enhances diverse modes of play, obsolesces traditional television viewing, retrieves lost means of participation, and reverses into pervasive and persistent play. The tetrad helps us to situate play within the broader technological and cultural environment.
dblp:conf/digra/Tyler07 fatcat:q6vpvxrmm5e3bez4oo3shwyuha