Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The New Everyday: A MediaCommons Project


5 pp.


(First paragraph) In a home with two children under six, managing to find the time and the games that allow for play with a partner who has completely different tastes and capabilities produces compromises both inside and outside the game, as well as a hybrid form that spans the two. This last point highlights the fact that compromise remains a popularly studied topic in considerations of games, but only within very discrete boundaries that do not necessarily have anything to do with play or with players. Said another way, compromise appears in studies that foreground games as promoting aggression and competition over agreement and cooperation, with the result productive pair tend to appear in specifically oriented educational games. Likewise, compromise offers a boundary layer in economics, since it usually occurs at asymptotic locations or at points of inflection in simulations of market trends, logistics, and “war games.” However, in attempting to play in our household, we have noticed that while the compromises do revolve around an economics of scarcity produced by “resource allocation” problems and “chrono-economic stress,” they also involve a series of negotiations and concessions that determine not only the kind of game, but also what happens in that game. Further, each of these three kinds of compromises occurs in the game, outside the game, and in a “transludic” form and that this happens regardless of the game or its genre. This is important because the continuous and continual compromises reveal the ways in which such decisions become an integral part of the gaming process. Thus, our paper will document each of the three principal motives for compromise and the levels on which these register, along with the variety of games—racing, arcade, FPS, action, puzzle-solving, social, etc.—for which this happens. In fact, the variety of games is widespread and varying that we have the corollary of showing that compromise really is inseparable from play.


All work at The New Everyday is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Publisher's version available at

Original Publication Citation

Ouellette, M. A. (2013). Married, with children and an XBox: Compromise in video game play. Retrieved from