Public History, Game Communities and Historical Knowledge

Webber Nick
2016 DiGRA/FDG ’16 – Proceedings of the 2016 Playing With History Workshop

In considering history and video games, great emphasis is placed on the ways in which historical information can be encoded in game content as a route to fostering an engagement with the past, and with historical narratives. This paper proposes that more attention should be paid to the communities which form around games, and to the historical activity which arises organically within those communities, particularly those which form around persistent massively multiplayer online games. The ideas of public history can be drawn upon to understand how this historical activity functions, and how it might be valued as a form of engagement not only with the past of those playing, but with the practices of history more generally, and with historical concepts such as truth, bias and authenticity.


The Diversity of Attitudes towards Play at the Workplace – A Case of an Academic Community

Nummenmaa Timo Kankainen Ville Savolainen Sampo Kultima Annakaisa Karvinen Juho Alha Kati Syvänen Antti Tyni Heikki
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

In this article, the results from an experiment of playful videos are presented. In the experiment, leaders of an academic community participated in workshops where they playfully envisioned the future of the workplace. These workshops were videotaped and edited into short videos, which were made public within the community and used as a probe for exposing attitudes towards play within an academic environment. The study revealed diverse views towards play and its role at the workplace.


EVE is Real

Carter Marcus Bergstrom Kelly Webber Nick Milik Oskar
2015 DiGRA '15 - Proceedings of the 2015 DiGRA International Conference

Used in a wide variety of contexts, a common colloquialism among EVE Online players is the phrase ‘EVE is real’. In this paper, we examine the various ways in which EVE is considered ‘real’ by its players, identifying a nuanced and powerful concept that goes significantly beyond real/virtual distinctions that have already been critiqued in game studies literature. We argue that, as a form of paratext, colloquialisms like this play an enormous role in shaping EVE Online’s informal rules (in particular towards treachery), constructing the identity of EVE Online players, communicating the seriousness of EVE Online play while in other cases, emphasizing the gameness of the MMOG.


From Generative to Conventional Play: MOBA and League of Legends

Ferrari Simon
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

Despite its vast enthusiast community and influence on contemporary game designers, the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) remains under-explored by academics. This paper considers many meanings of “well played” reflected in the design, community, and aesthetics of the genre's most popular member, League of Legends. Originating as modifications of commercial RTS (real-time strategy) games, MOBAs present a rare study of the “rhetoric of the imaginary” in play theory applied to popular game design. The genre's reification in commercial forms such as League show how the attitudes of distributed design projects manifest themselves as values of play. A close reading of the phases in a match of League of Legends exposes one possible aesthetic framework for the consideration of eSports. Greg Costikyan's theory of uncertainty in play serves here as a backbone for the study of conventions, tension, strategy, and tactics in a team-based competitive videogame.


Constructing the Ideal EVE Online Player

Bergstrom Kelly Carter Marcus Woodford Darryl Paul Christopher A.
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

EVE Online, released in 2003 by CCP Games, is a space-themed Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). This sandbox style MMOG has a reputation for being a difficult game with a punishing learning curve that is fairly impenetrable to new players. This has led to the widely held belief among the larger MMOG community that “EVE players are different”, as only a very particular type of player would be dedicated to learning how to play a game this challenging. Taking a critical approach to the claim that “EVE players are different”, this paper complicates the idea that only a certain type of player capable of playing the most hardcore of games will be attracted to this particular MMOG. Instead, we argue that EVE’s “exceptionalism” is actually the result of conscious design decisions on the part of CCP games, which in turn compel particular behaviours that are continually reinforced as the norm by the game’s relatively homogenous player community.


The Play’s the Thing: Practicing Play as Community Foundation and Design Technique

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

Earth balls, parachutes, word plays, provocative magic ... This session is a discussion of the USC Game Design Community, an attempt to encourage inter-disciplinary game design and research through community play experiments. The USC Game Design Community is a cross-departmental student group responsible for initiating a series of social play experiments designed to bring students and researchers from various schools of the University together. The play experiments of the previous year culminated in a game innovation research grant offered to an inter-disciplinary student team and a test of our overall assumption that playing together can provide disparate groups with common vocabulary, social relationships and collaboratively generated design concepts.