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This week on PlayTime, we sailed, raced, and flew into a fairly competitive discussion of ludic modes of transport. Between boats in Spiritfarer, powerups in Mario Kart, and a particularly gothic horse in Skyrim, there’s plenty to debate. We talked about how satisfying it can be to “win” a mode of transport, how tactile a controller can make flying feel, and how strange it is that there isn’t a wealth of literature out there on transportation in games. 

Reading a text by Van Neunen (2024) called When Here Becomes There, we looked at how space and place can be transformed through game-like associations, namely PokeStops, and the escapism of Microsoft Flight Simulator for players in lockdown. Configurative resonance, player agency, and narrative congruence all came up during our discussion, as examples of ways game scholars have talked about video game transportation–just without calling it that most of the time. To explore traveling and transport in the most practical of ways, we played 80 Days, featuring Keerthi’s (flawless) French accent, Angus’s “character voices” (including an impressively Dutch Henri de Blowitz), and Corine’s frantic urging to not miss our train/flight/bus/Bozek car that ended up being contagious…and loud. Wondering if you can circumnavigate the globe? Watch the highlight video below!

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