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

Kosti Joensuu, Sanna Ryynänen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-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
Title of host publicationResearch Anthology on Game Design, Development, Usage, and Social Impact
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6684-7589-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-6684-7590-4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Field of science

  • Administrative science


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