The Internet of Things Game: Revealing the Complexity of the IoT

Akmal Haider Coulton Paul
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phenomenon wherein everyday objects are capable of interacting together through the Internet; producing complex interdependencies between human and non-human actants. However, much of this complexity is not legible to users of IoT and can produce concerns relating to areas such as privacy and security, when the independent-but-interdependent motivations and perspectives of the actants are incongruent. To address this issue this paper presents The Internet of Things Board Game, which has been designed such that its procedural rhetoric makes legible these independent-but-interdependent relationships; and reveal how they manifest in the management of our security and privacy within IoT. The results of play-testing the game through multiple iterations highlight the valuable contribution games can play in revealing the ever-increasing complexity of relationships between the digital and the physical, and the human and non-human.


Can the Subaltern Game Design? An Exploratory Study About Creating a Decolonial Ludology Framework Through Ludonarratives

Bettocchi Eliane Klimick Carlos Perani Letícia
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

In this paper we describe the framework we created to understand the communication process in gaming experiences and that we have used to elaborate an educational process for future game designers or teachers. This educational process uses ludonarratives as an object of both game research and production. Considering that contemporary Cultural Studies admits the possibility of a Decolonial Pedagogy, can we entertain the possibility of building a Decolonial Ludology through ludonarratives? We aim to identify some of the Eurocentric foundations in game design in order to look for Decolonial alternatives that improve diversity and, if possible, make these alternatives also seductive. We describe four actions in our exploratory research to this goal.


Game Creation, Monetisation Models, and Ethical Concerns

Karlsen Faltin
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This paper explores the relationship between monetisation models, game design and ethical considerations from the perspective of three different small-scale Norwegian game companies. Interviews with game designers and CEOs form the empirical basis of the analysis. The analysis shows that their notion of the market situation differs and that concepts like quality and ethical responsibility vary greatly between the companies. A concern they all share is that the computer game market is becoming increasingly difficult to monetise and that using models like loot boxes seem more relevant now than before.


Between Pleasure and Power: Game Design Patterns In Clickbait Ludoporn

Passmore Cale Harrer Sabine Spiel Katta
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Despite its pervasiveness and prosperity in online spaces, the genre of playable online pornog- raphy, or ludoporn, has received little scholarly attention both in Human-Computer Interac- tion (HCI), Games Studies, and Porn Studies. In this paper, we discuss clickbait ludoporn as a hybrid design genre bridging games and pornography as they are offered for free on online platforms. We develop a tentative taxonomy of common design features, analysing game mechanics in terms of the libidinal investments and sexual pleasures promoted to players. Our analysis is based on a sample of 18 games retrieved from three different platforms. We suggest that the design of clickbait ludoporn mechanics incorporate mainstream approaches to sexuality, intimacy, and corporeality with fundamental consequences on how pleasure is culturally produced, articulated and normalised. We close on a call for game researchers and designers to claim the space of clickbait ludoporn with transformative intent.


Designing Games as Playable Concepts: Five Design Values for Tiny Embedded Educational Games

Kultima Annakaisa Lassheikki Christina Park Solip Kauppinen Tomi
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Digital games transform our lives; they provide an opportunity to engage with other worlds in a playful way, in many ways similarly to what other forms of audio-visual communica- tion (like movies, paintings or photos) have offered for a longer time. However, learning materials still use rather traditional ways for accompanying media, ranging from static fig- ures and graphs to videos and animations. In this paper, we explore the notion of Playable Concepts: tiny games that are embedded as part of educational material instead of separate and standalone products. We argue that games could be in a similar role as static graphi- cal elements in educational and communicational material, embedded in the text, together with other media formats. We suggest that the design space of Playable Concepts can be framed with five distinct design values: Value of Partiality, Value of Embeddedness, Value of Simplicity and Immediacy, and Value of Reusability.


Eliciting Affective Responses Through Sentient Encounters in a Farming Computer Game

Sutherland Lee-Ann
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Farming computer and video games embed a wide range of emotive and culturally idealised tropes and encounters. In this paper, ‘non-representational’ theory is utilised to assess the mechanisms through which affective responses are elicited in computer gameplay, applied to a case study of Stardew Valley. Analysis focuses on sentience: interactions with in-game livestock and local community members. Game mechanisms incentivise routine, daily interactions with livestock, linking affection expressed by livestock to farm productivity and financial gains and leading to a sense of responsibility for livestock welfare. In contrast, human interactions involve sporadic, discovery and reveal-based encounters. By staging these contrasting ‘worlds of affect’ in-game, Stardew demonstrates how an affectively rich landscape can be created through sentient encounter, and how the ‘work’ of grafting embedded in gameplay yields a range of affective responses.


From the Magic Circle to Identity: A Case Study on Becoming a Videogame Designer in Singapore

Puay Ru Chua Victoria Williams J. Patrick
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

We discuss how instructors and game-design students, for whom playing games for fun makes up a significant part of their self-definitions, made sense of transformations in perceptions of games, play and work during socialization into professional games-related careers. Our data come from 6 weeks of field research and 14 semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted at a local tertiary institution (LTI) offering bachelor’s degrees in game design in Singapore. We interviewed 10 students—3 female, 7 male— ranging from freshman to seniors as well as 4 male game design instructors with the intent of comparing the perspectives and experiences of both novices and veterans. While games scholars have investigated the boundaries between play and work through structural concepts such as “the magic circle” and through political-economic concepts such as “playbor,” we explore how the social- psychological concepts of “social identity” and “role identity” together provide unique insights into the meanings of play and work for game-design students, and the consequences of those meanings. We found that instructors spent significant time and effort not only teaching students how to design games, but how to become designers. We also found that game-design students learned to construct social and role identities which enabled them to renegotiate their relationship to games and to function within the expectations of the professional game-designer role.