The Gameplay Gestalt, Narrative, and Interactive Storytelling

2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

This paper discusses the relationship between concepts of narrative, patterns of interaction within computer games constituting gameplay gestalts, and the relationship between narrative and the gameplay gestalt. The repetitive patterning involved in gameplay gestalt formation is found to undermine deep narrative immersion. The creation of stronger forms of interactive narrative in games requires the resolution of this conflict. The paper goes on to describe the Purgatory Engine, a game engine based upon more fundamentally dramatic forms of gameplay and interaction, supporting a new game genre referred to as the first-person actor. The first-person actor does not involve a repetitive gestalt mode of gameplay, but defines gameplay in terms of character development and dramatic interaction.


Player Character Design Facilitating Emotional Depth in MMORPGs

Eladhari Mirjam Lindley Craig
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

How can we create computer games facilitating emotional depth in the playing experience? When entering into a persistent virtual game world the player leaves the body behind. It is up to the game designer to create a virtual body with skills, needs and drives necessary for survival and pleasure in the game world. Would it be sensible also to create a virtual mind for the player to possess and evolve? Can models like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and ‘being-values’, or the personality trait model popularly called ‘the big five’ be used for character design in a way that suits massive multi-player game form? Based upon a view of the player character as the concentrated mirror of the functionality of an RPG game and adding features inspired from psychology, cognitive science and behavior science, this paper presents the high-level system design of a virtual mind for the player to possess in a MMORPG. The mind model is being implemented in a research demonstration game in which game play emphasizes emotional engagement and dramatic interaction. This research is conducted in the Zero-Game Studio within the frame of the open research MMORPG Ouroboros.


The Aiming Game: Using a Game with Biofeedback for Training in Emotion Regulation

Cederholm Henrik Hilborn Olle Lindley Craig Sennersten Charlotte Eriksson Jeanette
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper discusses the development of the Aiming Game, a serious game intended to be used as a tool for training emotion regulation. The game is part of an intervention package designed to support training of financial investors in becoming aware of their emotional states as well as providing them with a toolbox which can be used for training to counteract cognitive biases which may interfere with their trading activities. The paper discusses how such a game can be implemented as well as how it can be effectively evaluated. The evaluation is mostly focused on the effectiveness of the induction of emotional arousal by the game, which is supported by standardized game design methods and patterns.


Narrative Structure in Trans-Reality Role-Playing Games: Integrating Story Construction from Live Action, Table Top and Computer-Based Role-Playing Games

Lindley Craig Eladhari Mirjam
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

Trans-reality role-playing games are conceived of as a form of role-playing game evolving from and integrating established table-top, live-action and computer-based role-playing forms. Each of these established forms has specific strengths and modalities for the ongoing articulation of the history of a game world regarded as an unfolding story. Integrating these forms in a trans-reality role-playing game involves the evolution of their techniques and technologies to allow each to function as a staging approach for game play within a single coherent game world. To achieve this integration, new technologically based design concepts are required to allow players within the different strategies to interact with each other as characters within the same game world.