Boal on a Boat – Teaching Critical Game Making

Prax Patrick
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

This paper presents and evaluates a plan for a 2-weeks teaching moment with a series of lectures and a seminar in a Game Design course on advanced level that teaches students to critically examine their design task as game designers. This means that this is a critical intervention that can be used to educate critical makers or reflexive professionals. The center piece of the course is an assignment that asks the students to create a design prototype that is highly problematic from moral and ethical perspectives that are discussed in the course literature and lectures. The paper explains in detail the setup of the lectures and seminars and shows the results of a first trial. Any game design education (and potentially even other digital making like IT or Information Systems) that aims at educating reflexive professionals or critical researchers should be able to adapt this teaching moment.


Participatory design and opposing interests in development of educational computer games

Magnussen Rikke Misfeldt Morten Buch Tasha
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

In this study we have followed a participatory design process in a class of children aged 11 and 12. The development team, a group of Danish schoolteachers, invited the children to participate in the design of a computer game for mathematics education. The objective of the participatory design process was to have the children create a game close to their own interests, experiences and fantasies, hereby insuring that they would find the game interesting enough to play it in their spare time away from school. Prior to the design workshops, the development team had a discussion with one of their classes, and decided on a game of exploration where the player travels through time and space, and the purpose of the design process described in this paper was to develop this idea further. During this process it became clear that the teachers’ ideas in some sense differed from the children’s. In the teachers’ original concept, the landscape would represent the history of mathematics (e.g. ancient Egypt, Greece, China), whereas the children’s ideas, diverse though they were, evolved around a fantasy setting and tourist experiences. In this project there arose a conflict between a pedagogical goal and an attempt to understand the end-users world through research.


Participatory Game Design to Engage a Digitally Excluded Community

Lochrie Mark Coulton Paul Wilson Andrew
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper explores issues around using a Participatory Design of a Location Based Game (LBG) developed as part of a project to connect young people (11-19 years old) in Lancaster and Manchester by exploring issues surrounding place and their sense of belonging within their community. Both these communities were chosen, as they are representative of particular socio-economic conditions that have led them to be considered digitally excluded. The results highlight issues researchers face when working with such a group and the importance of building trust and being sensitive to the lives of the participants.


In Perpetual Beta? On the Participatory Design of Facebook Games

Jacobs Melinda Sihvonen Tanja
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper proposes a new way of looking into the ‘sociality’ of social (network) games. On the basis of looking closely at the development of Frontierville, a popular Facebook game, and more abstractly at the development of its fellow Zynga Facebook-based games (such as Farmville or Cityville), we argue that various network-based forms of participatory design are increasingly becoming both influential and indispensable in social (network) based game design than ever before. Although participatory design in gaming is not new, the way in which participatory design is being used in social (network) games is new, giving the player a greater and more immediate role in the game design than ever before. Whether this is for better or worse, this form of participation fostered by the structure of social networks has allowed social (network) game players to become much more powerful than previous in their relationship to the game industry.