Sustainable Life Cycle Game Design: Mixing Games and Reality to Transform Education

Harteveld Casper Folajimi Yetunde Sutherland Steven C
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Although educational games have much promise across domains, their use is not widespread due to a lack of dissemination. This lack, combined with the development costs, has led us to identifying a different approach to educational games to increase adoption of games in education. Based on the reflection of two cases, where each tried in its own way to deal with the challenges of current educational game design, we introduce an approach called sustainable life cycle game design, inspired by the cradle-to-cradle® model for product manufacturing without waste. This approach emphasizes mixing existing games and educational activities into the design, mixing the game development with education, and developing with the goal of mixing new games in the future.


Bridging the Physical Learning Divides: A Design Framework for Embodied Learning Games and Simulations

Melcer Edward Isbister Katherine
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Due to a broad conceptual usage of the term embodiment across a diverse variety of research domains, existing embodied learning games and simulations utilize a large breadth of design approaches that often result in seemingly unrelated systems. This becomes problematic when trying to critically evaluate the usage and effectiveness of embodiment within existing designs, as well as when trying to utilize embodiment in the design of new games and simulations. In this paper, we present our work on combining differing conceptual and design approaches for embodied learning systems into a unified design framework. We describe the creation process for the framework, explain its dimensions, and provide examples of its use. Our design framework will benefit educational game researchers by providing a unifying foundation for the description, categorization, and evaluation of designs for embodied learning games and simulations.


“Ruinensehnsucht” – Longing for Decay in Computer Games

Fuchs Mathias
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

There is no technical reason and no quality inherent to the medium of computer games that would require corrosion, dust, and ruins. Pixels do not corrode and 3D geometry is not affected by physical decay. Yet if we look at contemporary computer games we find an abundance of ruined buildings, of mould and of all forms of decay of organic matter and inorganic materials. It would be too easy to explain this fact by an attempt to increase realism, because some of these games clearly feature more decay than reality could ever produce. There must be a longing of designers and players to immerse themselves within an environment of disintegrating, decaying objects. The author investigates the longing for decay along four threads that are informed by computer games history, art history, psychoanalytic reasoning and the concept of transmedia megatext.


Walking Simulators: The Digitisation of an Aesthetic Practice

Carbo-Mascarell Rosa
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Walking has been a long standing source of literary and artistic inspiration for writers (Poe 1840; Wordsworth 1979; Sinclair 2003) political activists (Chtcheglov 1953; Garrett 2013) and artists (Breton 1960; Aragon 1999). The videogames landscape has seen a surge in walking inspired games controversially tagged as ‘walking simulators’. This paper is a literary reading into three such tagged games: Year Walk, Gone Home and Dear Esther. It frames these games as continuations of the Romantic tradition of walking as an aesthetic practice thus embracing walking simulators as an art, the like of Romantic paintings and literature. Using the psychogeographic dérive, it interprets these ludic experiences as an artistic and aesthetic expression with an emphasis on authentic emotion, subjective in play and design. Through the walk, the landscape of the games become tied to the practice of literary psychogeography following a lineage including Charles Dickets (2010), G. K. Chesterton (1905), Andre Breton (1960), Ian Sinclair (2003) and Will Self (2015). It concludes that there might be an appropriateness in using the term ‘walking’ in defining these games. The Romantic tradition was born out of walking and it is evolving into a digitisation of its practice.


Grounded Theory in Games Research: Making the Case and Exploring the Options

Salisbury John Cole Tom
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM) is a powerful way to develop theories in domains where there are obvious opportunities to contribute in the form of carefully developed descriptive or explanatory conceptual theories. Reasonably nascent areas of academia, such as Game Studies, stand to particularly benefit from the development of new theoretical accounts. Yet, despite its proven utility in a wide range of fields and its history of rigorous methodological debate, many researchers are wary of using GTM. Conversely, many claim use of GTM but do not present an understanding of GTM's rich tradition and how this may impact their results and conclusions. This paper seeks to provide an overview of GTM, its main variants, and how they can be effectively used in research. We examine how GTM has been used in the field of games research and argue that GTM rightly be regarded a highly relevant method here.