In today's student feature, part of Gamasutra's education coverage, we present a honors thesis by Tony Thulatimutte, presented to Stanford University and titled: ' Controller Mediation in Human-Computer Play'.
Sheppard's introduction to his thesis explains:
"In the mid-to-late-20th century, the advent of the computer game signaled the beginning of a new mode of play interaction. Whereas previously playing a game would typically involve direct physical interaction with its elements (soccer balls, billiards, chess pieces), computer games introduced the notion of using hardware input devices to produce game action, with the consequence that any arbitrary quantifiable physical input might be transduced to produce any arbitrary game output.
Computer input devices are therefore novel intermediaries in games and the act of play, and the psychological and qualitative impacts of their design and usage on players, as well as their symbolic role in an increasingly mediated society, are the topics of this paper."
You can now read the full synopsis and download the full 177 page DOC
for this honors thesis (no registration required.)