Gamers never play alone: An interface-centred analysis of online video gaming


  • Carlos A. Scolari Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  • Fernanda Pires Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Maria-Jose Masanet Universitat de Barcelona



Video gaming, online video gaming, interface, actor, relationship, process, adolescents


Online gaming involves a complex and multidimensional set of practices. This article proposes understanding online video gaming based on an interface-centred approach that goes beyond the classic study of the “graphic user interface”. In this theoretical and analytical framework, the interface is considered the place where human, institutional and technological actors relate to each other and different processes are carried out. The article draws the data from empirical research with teens carried out in eight countries. It analyses the teenagers’ online playing experience as an interface, understood as a ‘network of actors’ that goes beyond the single video gaming device (console, PC, etc.). This work also presents a map of actors, relationships and processes of the online video gaming interface, paying particular attention to the tensions and critical issues that arise, from a perspective that, in further studies, could be expanded to other practices.




How to Cite

Scolari, C. A., Pires, F., & Masanet, M.-J. (2022). Gamers never play alone: An interface-centred analysis of online video gaming. First Monday, 27(1).