I've been reading a paper by Aylish Wood about what she terms 'Recursive Space'.
Recursive space is a concept discussing interactive space as a space which exists through the relationship between the coded world itself and the input of the player. Space is generated by the interactions of the user and reconfigured by these actions. It is the agency of virtual objects inside and outside of the frame and how they affect and are effected by the player that truly defines this space.
"Space is actively created when a gamer becomes entangled with the game world and the possibilities of the game's code" - Page 2
There are undobutedly representational qualities in all forms of virtual space it is however, important to consider that interactive spaces are not soley representational (perhaps aesthetically) but are much deeper in that they are generative. While players negotiate interactive spaces through the lens of social construction they are more than a passive entity but an active force constantly reconfiguring the space itself within the confines of the code from the perspective of the spatial frame.
One interesting stance which Wood suggests is that "The game does not exist in any active sense without the input of the gamer." I'd say that this is contestable, without a player perhaps the recursive space doesn't exist but game spaces can certainly be 'active' without the need of a human participant.
Something interesting about this idea of recursive space is that you can apply it to any form of game or interactive media, it is a way of describing space which is not specific to certain genres or titles but an all encompassing concept which is what makes the idea useful in that I can apply it directly to my own work.
Recursive space is conceptual, I suppose all definitions of space are conceptual really but by this I mean that it is not physical, it is a relative space which exists only by the interaction between a person and a virtual interface. It is the result of the agencies of game space and player constantly affecting one another - a space of affective energy.