Virtuosos on the Screen: Playing Virtual Characters Like Instruments in Competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee


論文アブストラクト:Previous research on virtual sociality in games suggests that players use custom avatars to reflect, alter, and perform new identities in digital spaces. However, this study explores an alternative theory of social performance by analyzing a competitive game, Super Smash Bros. Melee, where players face off in timed matches and interact through pre-designed characters. This study shows how Melee players treat virtual characters as performative instruments, similar to the violin or the piano. In forum posts and player-created media, Melee players emphasize the need to train one's hands, eyes, and mind in order to master a character's complexity and express style and skills in live matches. Instrumental embodiment in a competitive game like Melee thus positions players as virtuosos who perform for perceptive audiences. This research points to a range of ways that players may relate to virtual bodies, connected to distinct kinds of social activities.


「大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ」という対戦ゲームにおいてプレイヤがどうやって仮想空間のキャクラクタを操作するのかを調査。 プレイヤは定式化されたリズムやボタンの連続操作を練習し、プレイスタイルを表現することを重要視していることが判明。