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The first week of the zombie apocalypse: The influences of game temporality

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DayZ is a zombie-themed survival first-person shooter (FPS) game with persistence similar to games in the massively multiplayer online game genre. Released on the 16 December 2013 by surprise, DayZ adopts an ‘alpha’ release model; though playable, DayZ is unfinished, and will continue to be developed over the coming years. In 24 hours, the game sold over 172,500 copies, and reached over 800,000 sales within three weeks. In this article, I examine the experience of DayZ between 16 December and 23 December 2013. Through examining the experience of the game over such a short time frame, I highlight how patches, paratexts and changing literacy about the game can rapidly change its experience and culture. I argue that this emphasizes the importance of acknowledging a game’s temporality when analysing the relationships between player experiences, cultures and a game’s design.
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Keywords: DayZ; MMOFPS; game design; game literacy; game temporality; player experience

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Melbourne

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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  • The Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds focuses on theoretical and applied, empirical, critical, rhetorical, creative, economic and professional approaches to the study of electronic games across platforms and genres as well as ludic and serious online environments.
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