Perceptions of Player in Game Design Literature

Sotamaa Olli
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

Few studies have examined the role of players in game design. The objective of this paper is to provide some clarity on the issue of player-centred design by analysing the notions on player in current game design literature. This research also discusses the potentials a multifaceted approach on players can offer for the design of games. The article starts by analysing different approaches on player from abstract ideal player to player profiles and players as co-creators. Later, the benefits of involving players in different phases of design process are examined. As a result the paper produces a grouping of different designer-player relationships that reflect the different design ideologies and traditions. This article contributes to the new field of game design research by producing clarity to some of the inarticulate and ambiguous issues related to the role of players in games and their design. At the same time, the analysis is relevant to the larger understanding of players as game cultural actors.