After reading through the entire chapter once (and most of it twice) and making several excursions through the dictionary, I am fairly confident in my understanding. There is too much material to regurgitate a simple summary, but when examining any particular section I believe I follow him correctly–any particular section, that is, except for one. One sentence, which I shall mark in bold italics.
“And, as discussed, nondiegetic machine acts are about the various intensities of agitation between the various layers of the game itself, whether it be the agitation between two- and three-dimensionality, or between connectivity and disconnectivity, or between gameplay and the lack thereof. Games are always about getting from here to there. They require local differentials of space and action, not an abstract navigation through a set of anchored points of reference” (p. 36).
… … …What? These are terms which show up nowhere else in the chapter, and go undefined and unexplained despite being words with numerous meanings, including “differentials”, “abstract”, “navigation” and “anchored points of reference.” Perhaps I am wrong, but I feel as if he’s trying to emphasize that in videogames there are actions, which are performed in specific contexts, in contrast to navigating an abstraction. First, navigating is an action, and thus I am confused. Second, a “set of anchored points of reference” sounds suspiciously like my understanding of the word “context,” and thus I am further confused. Halp.