Unlocking the gameworld: The rewards of space and time in videogames

Alison Gazzard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Videogames are a time-based medium. It is through the condition of time that many game reward systems are designed around the collection of points, achieving high-scores and beating the clock. In relation to time, videogames are also a spatial medium, with ever-growing worlds expanding for player-characters to move through and explore. Building upon Björk and Holopainen’s (2005) and Hallford and Hallford’s (2001) categories of rewards, this article examines temporal and spatial reward structures within a range of videogames. Reward systems are defined and discussed in relation to different genres from puzzle-games to arcade games, from third-person games to simulation-based games. By understanding the basic structures of personal and social rewards found within many videogames, other types of reward related to time and space are built upon in order to show the way in which rewards overlap and their meanings evolve within different game play and game design contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGame Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • rewards
  • time
  • space
  • exploration
  • environment
  • goal
  • social
  • personal


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