PhD Thesis: Modes of Play, A Frame Analytic Account of Video Game Play (S. Deterding)
Sebastian Deterding is an influential game scholar, especially known for one of the most accepted definitions of “gamification”. Here is the freely-available PDF file of his PhD thesis. From the abstract: “This thesis developed and empirically applied a frame analytic theory of video gaming. It combined Erving Goffman’s frame analysis with ecological psychology and theories of situated action. Frames were modelled as socio-material nexuses of actors, actions, communications, objects, settings, and events that stabilise their re-occurrence as types of situations across time and space, and framings as situated activity systems that organise both covert perception, understanding, and experience and overt action, communication, and events as reproducing-and-changing a frame”.
The full text is available for free at http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2014/6863/
Thanks to Enrico Gandolfi for sharing it with me in the first place.