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.


The Space Between Debord and Pikachu

Davies Hugh Innocent Troy
2017 DiGRA '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference

In the heady discourse following the launch of Pokémon Go, many of the game’s influences, histories and precursors were forgotten or over-looked. Against the newness in which Pokémon Go is often framed, this article re-contextualises its history examining comparable practices and recalling the games evolution from earlier locative applications developed by Google to the experimental games of the modernist Avant Garde to which it has been compared. Central to this paper is discussion of the opportunities in the pervasive game development process for encoding and recoding the city by balancing in-game content with the nuances of the urban landscape in which it is played. While Pokémon Go has been revelatory in bringing awareness of pervasive gaming into the mainstream, this discussion of location-based games, public art projects, and playful approaches to urban exploration aims to fill gaps in the history of the field, and offer new possibilities for future game design and analysis.


Developing Ideation Cards for Mixed Reality Game Design

Wetzel RIchard Rodden Tom Benford Steve
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Mixed reality games (MRGs) pose new challenges but also opportunities to designers. In order to make the design space of MRGs easily accessible and enable collaborative design in a playful manner we have developed Mixed Reality Game Cards. These ideation cards synthesize design knowledge about MRGs and are inspired by a variety of other successful ideation cards. We describe six studies, illustrate the iterative development of our cards, and reflect how the structure of our cards might influence future ideation cards.


Defragging the Magic Circle: From Experience Design to Reality Design

Rafinski Adam Zielke Markus
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

This paper presents the research results on Augmented Play conducted at the GameLab of the Institute for Postdigital Narratives at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (Germany) from 2010-2012. With digital media, a playful mindset increasingly pervades aspects of everyday life, thereby shaping our understanding of reality. This expanded definition of play is the foundation according to which we analyze, modify, and apply the implicit rules of diverse media formats on Pervasive Games for artistic purposes. Therefore, our interdisciplinary artistic research focuses strongly on the ontological shift from game design as experience design towards the playful construction of facts as artistic strategy, a methodology we call “Reality Design”. Reality Design follows avant-garde practices, intending to merge and reflect upon theoretical and practical dimensions of the subject at hand, allowing for a critical and highly creative approximation to the contemporary value of reality games.


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.


flâneur, a walkthrough: Locative literature as participation and play

Løvlie Anders Sundnes
2012 DiGRA Nordic '12: Proceedings of 2012 International DiGRA Nordic Conference

This paper presents an experiment in facilitating public contributions to an experimental system for locative literature called textopia. Discussing approaches to collaborative writing and the relationship between games and art, the paper presents the development and the testing of a game designed to foster participation in the system. The game is based on the recombination of found texts into literary compositions, integrating the act of exploring the urban environment into the act of writing, as well as into the medium that is studied. The resulting texts are read as a form of situated, poetic documentary reports on the urban textual environment. The experiment also draws attention to the importance of live events in building a literary community.


Uncle Roy all around you: mixing games and theatre on the city streets

Flintham Martin Anastasi Rob Benford Steven Drozd Adam Mathrick James Rowland Duncan Oldroyd Amanda Sutton Jon Tandavanitj Nick Adams Matt Row-Farr Ju
2003 DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up

We describe Uncle Roy All Around You, a mixture of game and theatre that took place in central London in late May and early June of 2003. Street players, equipped with handheld computers and wireless networking, journeyed through the streets of the city in search of an elusive character called Uncle Roy, while online players journeyed through a parallel 3D model of the city, were able to track their progress and could communicate with them in order to help or hinder them. We describe how Uncle Roy All Around You mixed elements of pre-programmed game content with live performance and behind the scenes orchestration to create a compelling experience, especially for street players. We suggest that finding ways to scale this approach to support larger numbers of participants is an important challenge for future research.


Understanding Pervasive Games through Gameplay Design Patterns

Björk Staffan Peitz Johan
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

This paper reports on a cluster analysis of pervasive games through a bottom-up approach based upon 120 game examples. The basis for the clustering algorithm relies on the identification of pervasive gameplay design patterns for each game from a set of 75 possible patterns. The resulting hierarchy presents a view of the design space of pervasive games, and details of clusters and novel gameplay features are described. The paper concludes with a view over how the clusters relate to existing genres and models of pervasive games.


The Game Frame: Systemizing a Goffmanian Approach to Video Game Theory [Extended Abstract]

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

This paper offers a review, explication and defense of Erving Goffman’s Frame Analysis (1974) as a valid contemporary sociological theory of play, games, and video games. To this end, it provides an introduction the frame analytic conception of play, games and video games. It demonstrates that this account provides an explanatory (rather than merely descriptive) model for the sociality of the game/non-game boundary or ‘magic circle’, as well as phenomena that trouble said boundary, like pervasive games or ARGs. To substantiate the timeliness of a frame analytic approach to games, the paper compares it to and partially takes issue with practice theory, specifically Thomas Malaby‘s recent “new approach to games”. The conclusion summarizes the key characteristics, advantages and limitations of a frame analytic account of video games.