Reality Inspired Games: Expanding the Lens of Games’ Claims to Authenticity

McMillan Robyn Jayemanne Darshana Donald Iain
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This paper considers the potentials of contemporary games staking claims to realism through documentary and journalistic techniques as part of a wide-ranging cultural and technological phenomenon– ‘Reality Inspired Games’ or RIGs (Maurin, 2018). We argue that RIGs employ design techniques and strategies of legitimation that are valuable to the reactive development cycles in the indie sector, whilst also being beneficial for academic research and development. Through examining traditional documentary and the concept of Bruzzi’s performative documentary (2006) we highlight how this concept may allow developers to negotiate performativity and authenticity in their videogames. We discuss examples of such games in the realm of indie productions, such as That Dragon, Cancer (2016), This War of Mine (2014), and My Child Lebensborn (2018) and Bury Me, My Love (2017). All of which represent new ground for game design, documentary and journalistic techniques that have influenced our work on the MacMillan project.


Heritage Destruction and Videogames: A Perverse Relation

González José Antonio Chapman Adam Jayemanne Darshana
2017 DiGRA '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference

This paper examines the history of the National and University Library in Sarajevo, and particularly the destruction of the site and how it has been represented with different meanings across various media. The second part of the paper will analyse the representation of the library (post-reconstruction) in the videogame Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2’s Act 2 (called ‘Ghost of Sarajevo’), in order to raise issues about the ethical representation of a heritage site that has not only been destroyed and reconstructed, but that it is part of a national heritage.


Postdigital Play and the Aesthetics of Recruitment

Jayemanne Darshana Nansen Bjorn Apperley Thomas H.
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

This paper analyses reconfigurations of play in newly emergent material and digital configurations of game design. It extends recent work examining dimensions of hybridity in playful products by turning attention to interfaces, practices and spaces, rather than devices. We argue that the concept of hybrid play relies on predefining clear and distinct entities that then enter into hybrid situations. Drawing on concepts of the ‘interface’ and ‘postdigital’, we argue the distribution of computing devices creates difficulties for such presuppositions. Instead, we propose an ‘aesthetic of recruitment’ that is adequate to the new openness of social and technical play.


The Nip and the Bite

Jayemanne Darshana
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

An examination of the contributions that can be made by the field of non-mechanistic cybernetics (as elaborated by Gregory Bateson and Anthony Wilden) to a theory of videogames that views them as complex open systems in dynamic relation to players. Bateson, observing animal play, suggests that the playful nip has a complex relation to the earnest bite. This paper contends that the relation of player, avatar and game constitutes a similar system and that Wilden’s development of the theory of play has great potential for the study of videogames.