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.


Finding Meaning in Abstract Games: A Deep Reading of Sage Solitaire

Treanor Mike
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

This paper presents a methodology for discovering and explaining how games with very few thematic assets (or abstract games) are meaningful to players through rules and dynamics. Through the process of implementing play strategies as computer code, and then running simulations of the game being played, insights about how a player might think about and experience playing the game are revealed. These insights are compiled into interpretations of the themes and meanings that can be found in the abstract game. The paper then applies the methodology to perform a deep reading of the single player digital card game Sage Solitaire.


An Account of Proceduralist Meaning

Treanor Mike Mateas Michael
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

Within both game studies and development communities, it is often argued that a game’s processes (rules and goals) are of primary significance when considering a game’s meaning. In opposition to this position, some claim that this approach denies player subjectivity by ignoring the dynamic, culturally-embedded ways in which players create, rather than receive, meaning through play. This paper clarifies the proceduralist position by exploring a notion of the procedural that necessarily includes the individual player as part of a circuit in which a computational machine is able to operate meaningfully. From this point, procedural rhetoric is reframed in the language of semiotics to demonstrate that the proceduralist position respects player autonomy and expects meaning to result from the harmonious alignment between the authorial sign system and the many cultural sign systems within which the player is embedded.


Visualizing Persuasive Structures in Advergames

de la Hera Conde-Pumpido Teresa
2012 DiGRA Nordic '12: Proceedings of 2012 International DiGRA Nordic Conference

Since the publication of Ian Bogost's two first books (2006, 2007), procedural rhetoric has been the focus of attention of many scholars working on persuasive strategies in digital games (e.g., Heide & Nørholm 2009, Flanagan 2009, Swain 2010, Ferrari 2010). This paper aims to demonstrate that other persuasive dimensions could complement procedural rhetoric to design games with advertising purposes. This paper initially explains the value of use for each one of the persuasive dimensions that could appear in an advergame: narrative persuasion, procedural rhetoric, visual rhetoric, audiovisual rhetoric and textual rhetoric. Then a framework to analyze and visualize the persuasive structure of advergames is proposed, explained and defended. Finally the model is applied to three case studies.


How to Say Things with Actions I: a Theory of Discourse for Video Games for Change

Rao Valentina
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper proposes the interpretation of video games as discourse (in the explanation of discourse commonly used in linguistics and studies of natural language, not as understood in semiotics or cultural studies) to explore further the dynamics through which video games can propose structured meaning and articulate an argument. Such topic is especially relevant for video games with an agenda, whose goal is not just to produce an engaging game experience, but also to convey a message and have some control over the desired outcome (persuasion, information, expression, aesthetic experience). The notion of discourse can help classify serious games according to their specific aim, and can help understand how meaning production in procedural rhetoric takes place.


A Procedural Critique of Deontological Reasoning

Togelius Julian
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper describes a prototype game that learns its rules from the actions and commands of the player. This game can be seen as an implementation and procedural critique of Kant’s categorical imperative, suggesting to the player that (1) the maxim of an action is in general underdetermined by the action and its context, so that an external observer will more often than not get the underlying maxim wrong, and that (2) most ingame actions are morally “wrong” in the sense that they do not contribute to wellbalanced game design. But it can also be seen as an embryo for an authoring tool for game designers, where they can easily and fluidly prototype new game mechanics.


BurgerTime: A Proceduralist Investigation

Treanor Mike Mateas Michael
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper explores the foundations and implications of interpreting videogames as representational procedural artifacts. Where previous work established a method of proceduralist readings, one which emphasizes the representational power of a game’s rules, to interpret videogames intentionally imbued with meaning, this study attempts to apply the method to a game that seemingly resists interpretation: the classic arcade game BurgerTime. Interpreting BurgerTime provided a challenge to the proceduralist perspective that required investigating its outer limits and assumptions. In the end, a comprehensive reading is achieved by considering the gameplay of expert players: those who understand the rules of a game the most.