Networked Participation sets the Game Free – Warhammer 40k on Tabletop Simulator

Prax Patrick
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

This study compares analog Warhammer 40k to the way the game is being played on Tabletop Simulator. It focuses on properties of analog and digital gaming as well as player participation in creating both the game and its community. The study uses participant observation and an interface analysis and is based on more than a year of weekly games and participation in analog and digital tournaments. It concludes that the digital version of the game de-emphasizes crafting and making which leads to a reduced barrier of entry. Social interaction is not the same online, but there are moments of collective narrative building. The interface of the game is leveraging the possibilities of digital media and goes in the same direction as design research for table-top games. The biggest difference of that the digital version is networked player creativity that makes it possible to play this game online and improves it.


Boal on a Boat – Teaching Critical Game Making

Prax Patrick
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This paper presents and evaluates a plan for a 2-weeks teaching moment with a series of lectures and a seminar in a Game Design course on advanced level that teaches students to critically examine their design task as game designers. This means that this is a critical intervention that can be used to educate critical makers or reflexive professionals. The center piece of the course is an assignment that asks the students to create a design prototype that is highly problematic from moral and ethical perspectives that are discussed in the course literature and lectures. The paper explains in detail the setup of the lectures and seminars and shows the results of a first trial. Any game design education (and potentially even other digital making like IT or Information Systems) that aims at educating reflexive professionals or critical researchers should be able to adapt this teaching moment.


Is this still participation? A case study of the disempowerment of player labourers

Prax Patrick
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Critical research into games and player labour has shown that player creators remain disempowered despite the impact of their work. On the other hand, player-creators enjoy their work, they freely and in an informed manner consent to working without pay, and they can use their unpaid labour as experience and CV-entries. This paper aims to critically discuss these arguments in the light of a specifically chosen case study. The analysis is informed by expert interviews of player creators and it uses Carpentier’s (2016) analytic framework for participatory processes. This analysis of the power relationship between player creators and game developer is elemental for the discussion around unpaid player labour. In this case the company has enough power to purposefully keep the involvement of players secret which supports the notion of exploitation of free labour. The discussion suggests possible ways forward and connects to the ongoing unionization movement in the industry.


Critical Alternative Journalism from the Perspective of Game Journalists

Prax Patrick Soler Alejandro
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

This paper investigates from a game studies perspective the potential of alternative online game journalism for a more critical and honest coverage than established game journalism. Following the notion that journalism is defined by journalists through their practical work and discourse (Zelizer, 1993:222) the authors conducted 11 in-depth focused semi-structured interviews (Minichiello et al., 1995) with alternative game journalists and established game journalists. The results show that the social media logic of Youtube forces alternative journalists to adopt entertaining personas which undermines their authenticity unless they can afford to work for free. Alternative game journalists do not understand themselves as journalists but instead see themselves as critics or reviewers. They see established print-media game journalists as journalists. Neither do interviewees from established game journals. This means that nobody understands themselves as game journalists and takes the role of the watchdog in a democratic society (Wahl-Jorgensen and Hanitzsch, 2009:8).


Co-Creative Game Design in MMORPGs

Prax Patrick
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

This paper proposes a model for co-creation of games as alternative media. The model uses actual play practices to understand the political and cultural influence co-creation might have in the relationship between the owner of the game and the players. The model requires for player creation of a text or communication infrastructure that changes the properties of the game from which play emerges not only for the player herself but for a considerable group of players who share a particular practice of play. This change has to be accomplished not only by playing the game but through changing how others play it in a distinct creative activity. It needs to have the potential to subvert or contest the original design of the game. This model is useful for understanding different kinds of player co-creation as well as the extend of co-creative game design and can be a tool for political work towards participatory cultural production in games.


Game Design and Business Model: an Analysis of Diablo 3

Prax Patrick
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

This paper develops a theoretical framework for analyzing if a certain feature of the design of a game has been introduced to increase the financial profit created over a specific revenue stream. The framework is created from existing theory and consists of the points 1. Revenue Generation, 2. Game Design and Business Model Integration, and 3. Problematic Game Design. If all these points are given for a certain design feature than it has been implemented into the game to increase revenue. This framework is the used to analyze the design of the successful PC game Diablo 3. Diablo 3 features an auction house that allows players to trade their virtual items for real money while the owner of the game, Blizzard Entertainment, collects a fee for every transaction. The analysis shows that the economy of Diablo 3 is designed to increase the revenue of the real-money market place.


Leadership Style in World of Warcraft Raid Guilds

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

This study shows how guild leaders in World of Warcraft (WOW) and leaders of real life organizations compare in terms of leadership style. This comparison is used to shed some light on leadership in Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). 12 interviews were conducted, six with leaders of successful WOW raiding guilds and six with leaders of various real life organizations. The Leadership Grid was used to analyze and compare the different leadership styles. The leadership style of the guild leaders can be described as “Janus-faced”. It uses both “County-Club Management” putting human needs first and “Authority-Compliance Management” focusing on efficiency and results depending on the situation. To secure the success of the raid a leadership style with focus on results is used during the actual raid. During the every-day life, outside of the actual raid, a leadership style concerned about human needs is chosen to be able to solve social problems and build strong social relationships using only digital media for communication.