Designing Goals for Online Role-Players

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

The increasing popularity of persistent worlds and the predicted rise of pervasive gaming, both having a strong inherent potential for role-playing, stress a classical challenge of persistent world industry: in addition to the regular gamer audience, the role-player audience is growing. Catering to role-players requires re-thinking in the design of game structures and narrative structures. The most fundamental conceptual differences between role-player and regular gamer playing styles regard goals, game worlds and the idea of meaningful play.


Play it for Real: Sustained Seamless Life/Game Merger in Momentum

Stenros Jaakko Montola Markus Waern Annika Jonsson Staffan
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

In this paper we describe a high-end pervasive larp Momentum that sought to create a seamless merger of life and game for the game duration of five weeks. During the five weeks the players could be able to play an immersive game set in our ordinary reality augmented with game content, both through narrative content and through game artifacts. The central challenges of the long duration was merging the game and life in a functional manner, game mastering the game for extended periods, and pacing and structuring the game in a working way. This paper looks into the lessons of Momentum; problems, solutions and other evaluation results.


Tangible Pleasures of Pervasive Role-Playing

Montola Markus
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

The traditional forms of role-playing include tabletop roleplaying, larp and online role-playing. In this paper I describe a fourth form, pervasive role-playing, which often follows many conventions of larp, but break out of the magic circle of gameplay in order to interact with surrounding society. The central pleasures of pervasive role-playing are related to playing for real, with the environment and having a tangible, unmediated experience of being a part of a complete and physical world of fiction.


The Positive Negative Experience in Extreme Role-Playing

Montola Markus
2010 DiGRA Nordic '10: Proceedings of the 2010 International DiGRA Nordic Conference: Experiencing Games: Games, Play, and Players

Fun is often seen a necessary gratification for recreational games. This paper studies two freeform role-playing games aiming to create extremely intense experiences of tragedy, horror, disgust, powerlessness and self-loathing, in order to gratify the self-selected group of experienced role-players. Almost all of the 15 interviewed players appreciated their experiences, despite crying, experiencing physiological stress reactions and feeling generally ―bad‖ during the play.


Narrative Friction in Alternate Reality Games: Design Insights from Conspiracy For Good

Stenros Jaakko Holopainen Jussi Waern Annika Montola Markus Ollila Elina
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

Alternate Reality Games (ARG) tend to have story-driven game structures. Hence, it is useful to investigate how player activities interact with the often pre-scripted storyline in this genre. In this article, we report on a study of a particular ARG production, Conspiracy For Good (CFG), which was at the same time emphasising the role of strong storytelling, and active on-site participation by players. We uncover multiple levels of friction between the story content and the mode of play of live participants, but also between live and online participation. Based on the observations from the production, we present design recommendations for future productions with similar goals.


The Making of Nordic Larp: Documenting a Tradition of Ephemeral Co-Creative Play

Stenros Jaakko Montola Markus
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

Research and documentation of live action role-playing games, or larps, must tackle problems of ephemerality, subjectivity, first person audience and co-creation, as well as the underlying question of what larps are. In this paper these challenges are outlined and solutions to handling them are proposed. This is done through the prism of producing a picture-heavy art book on Nordic larp. The paper also discussed the problems of writing about game cultures as an insider and makes a case for addressing normative choices in game descriptions head on.


Role-Playing Games: The State of Knowledge [Panel Abstracts]

Drachen Anders Copier Marinka Montola Markus Eladhari Mirjam Hitchens Michael Stenros Jaakko
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Role-playing games form one of the major genres of games and exist across all hardware platforms as well outside of the technology domain in a huge variety of forms and formats. Role-playing oriented research has focused on culture, storytelling, game processes as well as e.g. user interaction, play experience and character design. Today role-playing games research is an established component of game studies. This panel presents a state of the art of the knowledge of role-playing games research covering a great variety of angles and interests, providing an overview of the current hot topics and future research directions within one of the key genres of games.