One Simulated Hand, Two Real Hands: Antisimulation and Phenomenological Correspondence in Videogame Control Schemes

  • Joseph Garvin University of Bristol


This paper sets out a framework for understanding the control schemes of computer games in terms of ‘phenomenological correspondence’. The complexity of the simulated action corresponds with the complexity of the player’s action on the controls. With this, the traditional or popular view of controls as either ‘simulator’ or ‘arcade’ controls makes sense as different forms, either ‘completionist’ or ‘reductionist’, of correspondence. As well, a third kind of control scheme can be made sense of, the ‘antisimulation’ seen in games like QWOP. These controls involve an ‘excessive’ phenomenological correspondence, where one simulated hand requires two player’s hands to control.

Author Biography

Joseph Garvin, University of Bristol
I am a final-year PhD student at the University of Bristol Philosophy department, writing up a thesis on demarcation issues in the work of Kuhn, and comparing him to Popper, Carnap, and Hempel.


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Games Cited

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Bennett Foddy (2008) QWOP. Bennett Foddy (Flash, iOS)

Bossa Studios (2013) Surgeon Simulator 2013. (Android, iOS, Playstation 4, GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac OS)

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June 5, 2015