Game time

Modeling and analyzing time in multiplayer and massively multiplayer games

Anders Tychsen, Michael Hitchens, Anders Drachen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Citations (Scopus)


Game time is a core feature of game design and study, and forms part of the gaming experience on a variety of levels. It can be viewed from multiple perspectives, for example, the time of the playing of the game or the flow of time in a game world. In this article, a comprehensive game time model based on empirical research as well as recent theory is presented. It proposes various perspectives on game time and integrates them to allow coherent representation of the same events in the different perspectives. The model has been tested across tabletop and digital formats, and its applicability across game formats is demonstrated. Emphasis is placed on multiplayer and massively multiplayer role-playing games because these feature complex game time behavior not previously evaluated. The model considers game time as an interactively created and nonlinear feature of games and game play.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-201
Number of pages32
JournalGames and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

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