Defragmentation and Mashup: Ludic Mashup as a Design Approach

Lenhart Isaac
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

The history of technological progress has involved a repeated application of abstraction, of encapsulation, specialization and composition. Film, for example, has moved from a specialized field of equipment and concepts only available to trained professionals, into a field which has been commoditized and composited, and made available to almost everyone with basic equipment. New media has become more modular and thus passes into the hands of users who rely less on crafting from scratch and rely more on pre-built, readymade components that can be assembled. This “pulling together”, i.e. this “mashup” or “remix” approach is already trivially true in the field of games in the modding community, which may introduce new 3D models, images, music or even new code blocks which change behaviors. These are very important, but signal a future move toward more sophisticated, pre-packaged modular blocks which players might assemble on their own in a more controlled manner. This might include swappable A.I. algorithms, interchangeable in-game weapons, interoperable “rulesets” and other key game entities that are normally thought of as being integral to a specific, single game. While mashup, assemblage and perhaps actor-network-theory has highlighted the ways in which a game played in context is more than the sum of its parts, this paper looks to the future of game design, in which players can assemble (on-the-fly) a set of game components. Such a situation is a defragmenting of ready-made ludic chunks, resulting in unpredictable and chaotic games created by players, and forces designers to consider their role less as a creator of a game in toto, but also as designers of interoperable ludic components.


Digital Art in the Age of Social Media: A Case Study of the politics of personalization via cute culture.

Hjorth Larissa
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Undoubtedly, as social media ubiquity spreads, the attendant forms of emerging creativity, collaboration and community further appropriate and adapt Digital Art current trends. As Jean Burgess observes in her studies on YouTube, one of the key attributes of this personalization phenomenon is what she calls “vernacular creativity” [9]. Here Burgess spearheads the amateur / professional nexus that has been transformed through networked social media. In these transformations, the role Digital Art vernaculars play in the divergent world of the global games industry in an age of social, networked media has been given little focus. One such vernacular can be seen in cute culture. As a highly emotional and affective vernacular with its roots in Japanese personalization culture, cute culture has straddled various Digital Art terrains such as gaming and new media. I argue that through charting the cartographies of personalization through cute character culture we can gain insight into Digital Art vernaculars both inside and outside Game Studies. By honing in upon one of the most pervasive modes of Digital Art—cute character culture—this paper provides new ways to conceptualize Digital Art. To focus upon cute culture is to explore an aesthetic that has its genealogy in Japanese technocultures — a realm that has, until recently, been left under-researched in the Englishspeaking world. In a period marked by the increasingly proclivity towards “personalized technologies” it is cute culture, with its history in the rise of Japanese personal technologies from the 1970s, that can lend much insight into the politics and practices of contemporary Digital Art. In this paper I uncover some of the meanings that have caused cute culture to become a lynchpin between so much media converging Digital Art with games in an age in which the personal—epitomized by personal technologies—has a deeply political edge.


How Multiplayer Games Create New Media Politics

Konzack Lars Lindof Thessa
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

In this article we will propose a framework for massive multiplayer games, giving the players a raise of consciousness in understanding politics and society. We will set a mass media politics up against a new media politics as it emerges from the use of massive multiplayer games. We will start with a definition of mass media and new media, at the same time explaining the differences between the two. Afterwards we will give a definition of serious games. We finish the article with examples of games, which can give raise to counsciousness about political and societal problems and possibilities.