I’m going to apply Gadamerian theory of life-world as a means of understanding an interaction with a digital artifact from the user perspective.

I define life-world as: the world as experienced by someone in a particular time and place.

So I need to take into consideration how someone’s life-world shapes their ability to understand an artifact.

As an example of an interaction, I played a Nintendo game called Ninja Gaiden. As I was going through the process of trying to understand the game world, its rules, and the meaning of its symbols, I encountered a “great” difficulty – a wall.

I was unable to jump over the wall, and whenever I tried to jump my little ninja character would become stuck on the side of the wall. When I first saw him on the wall, I thought he was trying to climb the wall, like I would climb a ladder in my world. And when I tried to move him up or down, he was totally immobile, eventually the timer would run out and it would be game-over.

After “many” failed attempts of trying to get him off the wall, I eventually thought to myself “if I were climbing a wall in my world how would I get down from the wall”? After thinking this, I was able to translate immediately my experience of climbing into the game world, and then I intuitively knew which button combination to press to get down from the wall.

After this, I realized that in the little ninja character’s reality, he was not trying to climb the wall like I first thought, but rather he was doing ninja tricks; he was trying to jump from wall to wall, like a squirrel leaping from tree to tree.

Is this an example of “fusing” my life-world with the life-world of the ninja gaiden?

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