Practical Considerations for Values-Conscious Pervasive Games

Jerrett Adam Howell Peter de Beer Koos
2022 DiGRA ’22 – Proceedings of the 2022 DiGRA International Conference: Bringing Worlds Together

Pervasive games are a genre that blur reality and fiction by creating unique experiences that are played in and affected by real life. Because of their effective blend of reality and fiction, the genre has become popular for creating serious games that, among other things, explore the values of players and their communities. While value exploration is often discussed in the context of subgenres like alternate reality and live-action roleplaying games, little literature exists that discusses value exploration in the genre of pervasive games more broadly. As such, this paper amalgamates practices across pervasive game types that facilitate value exploration through play. These practices are then presented as design considerations alongside practical techniques that designers can implement to encourage playing with values. These considerations are presented to provide designers with practical ways to make their games more meaningful to and representative of increasingly diverse player populations.


“It’s just part of being a person”— Sincerity, Support & Self Expression in Vignette Games

Henderson Thryn Iacovides Ioanna
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Personal vignettes are encapsulated game works with minimal interactions, focused on aspects of lived experiences. Often created by under-represented games creators, they draw on techniques of poetry, art and theatre to tell diverse and complex stories in small spaces. This study explores the experiences of personal vignette creators and their creative processes. The study conducted a thematic analysis of 16 interviews with creators, focusing on how they engaged with their practice and their audiences. The findings suggest that facilitation, experimentation, disruption and expression are cornerstones of the vignette game ethos; a form of game creation under the creator's own terms, which utilises design through positive restriction, as a playful creativity and for self expression.


Methods Beyond the Screen: Conducting remote player studies for game design research

Muscat Alexander Duckworth Jonathan Wilson Douglas
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

In this paper we present a qualitative research methodology for conducting scholarly remote player studies, derived from a comparison of player-testing protocols. Within the game design research field, approaches to studying designs are frequently adapted from standardized player-testing techniques. These often focus on measuring player experience so a design may be evaluated. While such methods provide a useful basis for conducting iterative design studies, these present limitations for researchers seeking to interrogate design approaches outside of conventional assessment models or gameplay paradigms. We discuss these issues through a methodological lens, in the study of WORLD4, a game designed for experiences of ambiguity. Through a two-stage player experience case study we reveal methodological considerations, insights, and highlight disciplinary questions. In doing so we present a contextually aware, time and resource conscious method for conducting remote player studies, useful for game design researchers working outside of labs or investigating alternate design spaces.


Hybrid Board Game Design Guidelines

Kankainen Ville Paavilainen Janne
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

Hybrid board games combine non-digital and digital elements to introduce a new kind of game experiences. In this study, we present 17 design guidelines for hybrid board games. These guidelines are the result of an iterative process of workshopping with industry experts and academic researchers, supported by developer interviews and player survey. They are presented as starting points for hybrid board game design and aim to help the designers to avoid common pitfalls and evaluate different trade-offs.


Good Game Feel: An Empirically Grounded Framework for Juicy Design

Hicks Kieran Dickinson Patrick Holopainen Jussi Gerling Kathrin
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

Juicy design refers to the idea that large amounts of audiovisual feedback contribute to a positive player experience. While the concept is popular in the game design community, definitions of the concept remain vague, and it is difficult to analyze which elements contribute to whether a game is perceived as juicy. In this paper, we address this issue through a combination of industry perspectives and academic analysis to provide a more detailed understanding of contributors to juicy design. We present results from an online survey that received responses from 17 game developers, and create an affinity diagram to derive a framework that facilitates the analysis of juicy design rooted in developers’ perspectives. Through application to two commercially available games, we refine the framework, and contribute a tool that makes the idea of juiciness actionable for researchers and designers.


Stasis and Stillness: Moments of Inaction in Videogames

Scully-Blaker Rainforest
2018 DiGRA '18 - Proceedings of the 2018 DiGRA International Conference: The Game is the Message

This paper represents an initiatory investigation into moments of inaction in games. Two particular types of inaction are defined and discussed: stasis, which is inaction brought on by or through a game’s mechanics and stillness which is brought on by or through a game’s aesthetics. Moments of stasis and stillness are shown to either be designed features of a game that produce a variety of affective experiences or playful subversions that are injected into a game by the player. Through describing stasis and stillness as either designed or injected, these two modes of inaction are compared and contrasted as part of a broader project that interrogates whether play can be a form of critique.


Good Violence, Bad Violence: The Ethics of Competition in Multiplayer Games

Nguyen C. Thi Zagal José P.
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Most game studies research on ethics and games examines the ways games encode, express, and encourage ethical reflection and ideas through their systems, mechanics, and representational elements. However, not much attention has been paid to the ethical aspects of games as/when they are played by more than one player. In this article we use literature from the philosophy of sports to discuss how competition can be framed as an ethical activity and how doing so allows us to examine commonly used value-laden terms such as ganking, spawncamping, and trash talking. We propose the idea of the ideal moral competitive game: a game in which the best moves or plays are coincidentally those that result in the best possible degree and type of challenge for my opponent. From this baseline we then articulate a preliminary ethics of play, centered on competition that can be productive for examining and understanding the ethics of inter-player interactions.