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Play, Game, and Videogame: The Metamorphosis of Play

Department of Sociology, Public University of Navarra, Campus Arrosadia s/n, 31006 Pamplona, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2018, 9(5), 162;
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 12 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
The question, the Fragestellung, which drives this paper is, can football video-games be analyzed from a religious perspective? We can answer positively, at least, provisionally. First, in order to demonstrate our approach, we will take into account the different conceptions on play drawn along sociological theories. Second, we will analyze Francis M. Cornford’s contribution to the already forgotten but essential work by Jane Ellen Harrison, Themis: The Social Origins of the Greek Religion, in which he established an elective affinity between the origin of the Olympic Games and the annual ritual dedicated to the Daimon-God Dionysus, in which he was elected the best Kouros (Young hero-King) of the year. At the very beginning, play, ritual, and competitive games (helped by self-reflexivity as well as collective reflexivity) were united, and that constellation is still there in modern times with the creation of modern sport. Third, in modern advanced societies the football game-sport creates meaning, and succeeded throughout two main processes such as the sportification and progressive rationalization of violence. Fourth, we built an ideal type of two competing strategies, in which created a new type of hero, the sports hero, the modern celebrity. Finally, fifth, we analyze how in our digitalized societies the football videogames are a sort of play on the play of which comes out a religious transcendence associated with it, “Throughout the videogame I become myself in my idol”. We explain this comparing two ideal types, the Dionysian-Messi versus the Apollonian-Ronaldo. View Full-Text
Keywords: play; game; football videogames; religion; ritual practices play; game; football videogames; religion; ritual practices
MDPI and ACS Style

Gil-Gimeno, J.; Sánchez-Capdequí, C.; Beriain, J. Play, Game, and Videogame: The Metamorphosis of Play. Religions 2018, 9, 162.

AMA Style

Gil-Gimeno J, Sánchez-Capdequí C, Beriain J. Play, Game, and Videogame: The Metamorphosis of Play. Religions. 2018; 9(5):162.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gil-Gimeno, Javier, Celso Sánchez-Capdequí, and Josetxo Beriain. 2018. "Play, Game, and Videogame: The Metamorphosis of Play" Religions 9, no. 5: 162.

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