The Significance of the Hermeneutics of Play for Gamification: The Limits of Virtual and Real Gamification

Kosti Joensuu, Sanna Ryynänen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Games and play are increasingly significant in everyday life. Thus, a philosophical and theoretical consideration of these concepts is needed. This article uses phenomenological hermeneutics to discuss games, play, and gamification; it also addresses the development of gamifying planes within gamification studies. It hypothesizes that the academic discussion of gamification becomes more valid, ontologically, by focusing on the phenomenon and lived experience of play and playing from a phenomenological perspective. It presents an upcoming practical intervention, an empirical research design of case study of playing a virtual game, to demonstrate how the essence of play and the integrated spheres of virtual and real worlds could be approached. Thus, it could provide valuable information that is needed in the fast-developing domain of interventions in gamification and the game-business. On the basis of this study's theoretical findings, a broader ontological notion is suggested to overcome the subjectifying notion of player and the objectifying notion of games and play.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
Journal International Journal of Innovation in the Digital Economy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Field of science

  • Administrative science


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