Rules in Computer Games Compared to Rules in Traditional Games

DeLeon Chris
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

Michael Liebe argues that Salen and Zimmerman's interpretation of Huizinga's magic circle does not apply to computer games. Liebe's insight reveals not only a different relation for computer games to the magic circle, but also hints at a difference in the nature of rules in computer games. Jesper Juul's comparison of non-digital sports to simulations of those sports highlights a missing aspect in understanding how rules in computer games are of a different nature than those of non-computer games: rules as flexibly defining real-time spatial interactions. Rules in computer games are more like laws of physics, rules in non-computer games are more like laws of society. Besides meta rules such as tournament arrangements, only a handful of "rules" - as the word is applied to non-computer games - exist for nearly all computer games. Moreover, such rules are largely the same: use standard input, and don't alter the game.


The Ethics of Computer Game Design

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

Every choice implies responsibility. Responsibility implies ethical values imprinted in those choices. Computer games have been considered “a series of interesting choices” . Is it possible to think of games as moral objects? Or, more precisely: is the design of computer games morally accountable? Computer game design is the craft of gameplay, the challenge of creating a balanced and enjoyable game. In a way, computer game design is the art of creating interesting, entertaining choices. What are the ethics this activity imprints in computer games? What are the ethics of game design? This paper will argue for the analysis of computer games as moral objects because of the ethical values that can be imprinted in their design. Understanding the importance of design as a creative ethical activity, will allow the analysis of computer games’ rethorics and the ways they are or could be used for conveying engaging ethical experiences. Understanding the morality of the digital expression can show us both the ways for new expressions, and the moral being of computer game as a form of art.


Challenge Balance and Diversity: Playing The Sims and The Sims 2

Iversen Sara Mosberg
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

How can we begin to empirically analyse computer games as dynamic systems that seek to motivate and facilitate meaningful and pleasurable player activity? This paper suggests that the concept of ‘challenge’ offers a promising starting point for such inquiries. First the notion of challenge will be briefly introduced. Then the The Sims and The Sims 2 will be analysed and compared with regards to their challenges in order to highlight some of their distinct characteristics as games and to identify some of their differences. These games are interesting in terms of challenge because they, according to a narrow definition of games, are borderline games due to their lack of clear overall goals and a winning condition. Still, challenge seems to offer a fruitful frame of understanding, thus showing promise as a foundation for an extended definition of games.


Place Space & Monkey Brains: Cognitive Mapping in Games & Other Media

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

This paper attempts to ground the relationship of architecture to game space, suggest ways in which real world design of places can help the design of game spaces, and distinguish between our experience and recall of episodic space as scene via film and literature, to our experience and recall of sequential and interstitial space in three-dimensional games. The following argument is based on informal feedback of game players, formal observations of navigation in virtual environments, and from discussions with researchers of medical visualization technologies. My hypothesis is that having an ergodically embodied sense of self (such as in computer games) enhances sequential spatial memory over traditional non-ergodic forms of entertainment (such as adventure books with survey maps, or traditional cinematic media). My proposed method of evaluation for analyzing and evaluating spatial cognition in an interactive virtual environment (such as a computer game), is to use brain scanning equipment.


OceanQuest: A University-Based Serious Game Project

Parker J. R. Chan Sonny
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

A case study of a game design project is presented, in which both traditional game goals and educational goals exist. One way to create a design that respects both sets of goals is illustrated.


Killing Like a Girl: Gendered Gaming and Girl Gamers’ Visibility

Bryce Jo Rutter Jason
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

Approaches to gender and computer gaming have been dominated by textual and content analysis at the expense of broader understandings of gaming. This paper examines computer games through gendered game content, game spaces and activities. The paper suggests that despite the popular stereotype of the computer gamer as an antisocial male teenager, there is increasing evidence of female gaming. This suggests the need to examine the relationship between gender and this activity in greater depth and within everyday contexts. The authors examine the possibility of computer gaming as a potential site for challenging dominant gender stereotypes, relating this to the production and consumption of contemporary leisure.


Gameplay Rhetoric: A Study of the Construction of Satirical and Associational Meaning in Short Computer Games for the WWW

Madsen Helene Johansson Troels Degn
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

This paper maps out the construction of non-narrative rhetorical meaning in short computer games. Setting off from the recent emergence of short satirical computer games on the World Wide Web, it observes that at least some computer games do have potentials as a medium of artistic expression; that regardless of the possible narrative powers of computer games. Drawing on Leonard Feinberg's categories of satire and George Lakoff's theory of metaphor, the article describes the basic rhetorical mechanisms of satire and association in computer games and suggests that satire and especially allegorical association in this context appear as two sides of a common theme: the call for immortality and the mastery of computer games.


The Study of Computer Games as a Second-Order Cybernetic System

Kücklich Julian
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

The following paper is part of a larger analytical study of various contexts of computer games. Here, I elaborate on the method on which I base my study of the semiotic process constituted by playing a computer game. This method is derived from a critique of earlier approaches to the field from the perspective of literary and media studies. While most of these approaches employ a twolevel model with undeniable roots in structuralist narratology, the model suggested here is based on the constructivist concept of viability. This presupposes a change of perspective from "naïve objectivity" to informed subjectivity.


Women just want to have fun – a study of adult female players of digital games

Kerr Aphra
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

In the past twenty-five years, the production of digital games has become a global media industry stretching from Japan, to the UK, France and the US. Despite this growth playing digital games, particularly computer games, is still seen by many as a boy’s pastime and part of boy’s bedroom culture. While these perceptions may serve to exclude, this paper set out to explore the experiences of women who game despite these perceptions. This paper addresses the topic of gender and games from two perspectives: the producer’s and the consumer’s. The first part of the paper explores how Sony represented the PS2 in advertisements in Ireland and how adult female game players interpreted these representations. The second part goes on to chart the gaming biographies of these women and how this leisure activity is incorporated into their adult everyday life. It also discuses their views about the gendered nature of game culture, public game spaces and game content; and how these influence their enjoyment of game playing and their views of themselves as women. These research findings are based on semi-structured interviews with two marketing professionals and ten female game players aged 18 and over. The paper concludes that the construction of both gender and digital games are highly contested and even when access is difficult, and representations in the media, in console design and in games are strongly masculine these interviewees were able to contest and appropriate the technology for their own means. Indeed ‘social networks’ were important in relation to their recruitment into, and sustained playing of, digital games. At the same time, the paper found that these interviewees were largely ‘invisible’ to the wider gaming community and producers, an issue raised by Bryce and Rutter (2002:244) in an earlier paper, which has important implications for the development of the games industry.


The representation of gender and ethnicity in digital interactive games

Janz Jeroen Martis Raynel G.
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

The actual content of games is an understudied area in social scientific research about digital interactive games (DIGs). This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of game content, in particular with respect to the portrayal of men, women, and people of different ethnic origin. Earlier studies by Provenzo [14], Gailey [8], and Dietz [6] concluded that games were dominated by stereotypic male characters with a few stereotypic females in minor roles. Nowadays, quite a few DIGs have women in leading parts. We want to establish if this change resulted in a multiplicity of meaning in the representation of gender and ethnicity [10]. This paper reports a content analysis about the ways in which gender and ethnicity are represented in the game. We concentrate on the portrayal of the leading character, and supporting role in the introductory film of the DIG. Our sample consists of 12 games that run on ‘Next Generation Consoles’ (PS2, X Box, Game Cube). Among the titles studied are games with a female leading character (for example, Tomb Raider, Parasite Eve), and with a male leading character (for example, GTA ViceCity, Splinter Cell). Characters in supporting roles are diverse: colored, and non-colored men, as well as colored and non-colored women