The way in which the game software prompts and allows user input to influence the game. Does pushing up on the joypad move the player avatar forward? Does it move a cursor arrow around the game world? Does it change the highlighted option in a menu? This section of the ontology speaks to methods by which user input is structured and through which the player participates in the game world.
One might say that these structures constitute a form of rules, but we are here examining them as methods by which the player participates in the game, rather than as the rules by which the game is played. That is, the input methods constitute the way in which the player may "come to the table" to play in the first place. The input method of a game structures the manner by which the player may enter the game-player agreement by specifying what input is available to the player.