Gameplay Rhetoric: A Study of the Construction of Satirical and Associational Meaning in Short Computer Games for the WWW

Madsen Helene Johansson Troels Degn
2002 Computer Games and Digital Cultures Conference Proceedings

This paper maps out the construction of non-narrative rhetorical meaning in short computer games. Setting off from the recent emergence of short satirical computer games on the World Wide Web, it observes that at least some computer games do have potentials as a medium of artistic expression; that regardless of the possible narrative powers of computer games. Drawing on Leonard Feinberg's categories of satire and George Lakoff's theory of metaphor, the article describes the basic rhetorical mechanisms of satire and association in computer games and suggests that satire and especially allegorical association in this context appear as two sides of a common theme: the call for immortality and the mastery of computer games.


Playful Play with Games: Linking Level Editing to Learning in Art and Design

Engeli Maia
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

The title ‘Playful Play with Games’ refers to the possibility of creative involvement with games by altering their structure in a playful way. The focus of this paper is on modifying the first person shooter game Unreal Tournament as a learning process. Modifying the game means to become a creator or writer in addition to a reader and player, but nonetheless with a playful attitude and a good understanding of the game at hand. Understanding the game involves an understanding of the different levels of meaning of the game. Three levels of meaning produced in and around games can be distinguished: Meaningful play, meaning beyond play, and creatively added meaning. Five examples from courses to media management, architecture, and media art students as well as a group of activists illustrate the design of courses that are based on level editing.


More Than A Craze: Photographs of New Zealand’s early digital games scene

Swalwell Melanie
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

"More Than A Craze" is an online exhibition consisting of 46 photographs of New Zealand's early digital games scene, in the 1980s. The exhibition includes the work of some of New Zealand's best known documentary photographers – Ans Westra, Christopher Matthews, Robin Morrison – with images from the archives of Wellington's Evening Post and Auckland's Fairfax newspapers. These photographers captured images of games, gamers and gameplay in the moment when these were novel. These images are significant in that they offer insights into the early days of digital games. They are an important primary source material for researchers interested in the history of play and interactive entertainment. The exhibition has been curated by Melanie Swalwell and Janet Bayly. It is an online exhibition, hosted by Mahara Gallery, Waikanae ( It is one of the outcomes of Swalwell's research into the history of digital games in New Zealand, in the 1980s.


Three Shadowed Dimensions of Feminine Presence in Video Games

Cosima Rughiniș Răzvan Rughiniș Toma Elisabeta
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Representations of femininity in video games and other media are often discussed with reference to the most popular games, their protagonists and their sexist predicament. This framing leaves in shadow other dimensions. We aim to identify some of them and to open a broader horizon for examining and designing femininity and gender in games. To this end we look into games with creative portrayals of feminine characters, diverging from the action-woman trope: The Walking Dead, The Path, and 80 Days. We talk in dialogue with scholars, but also with a digital crowd-critique movement for films and games, loosely centered on instruments such as the Bechdel-Wallace test and the TV wiki. We argue that the central analytical dimension of female character strength should be accompanied by three new axes, in order to examine feminine presence across ages, in the background fictive world created by the game, and in network edges of interaction.


The Cheating Assemblage in MMORPGs: Toward a sociotechnical description of cheating

Paoli Stefano De Kerr Aphra
2009 DiGRA '09 - Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference: Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

This paper theoretically and empirically explores cheating in MMORPGs. This paper conceptualises cheating in MMORPGs as a sociotechnical practice which draws upon a non-linear assemblage of human actors and non-human artefacts, in which the practice of cheating is the result or the outcome of an assemblage. We draw upon the assemblage conceptualizations proposed in [16] and [8] and on empirical data taken from a pilot study we have conducted during the period September-November 2008 and from an ethnography we are conducting in the MMORPG Tibia ( since January 2009. This game in particular was chosen because CipSoft, the company that develops the game, launched an anticheating campaign at the beginning of 2009.


Diversity of Play

Fuchs Mathias Palmer Karen Ensslin Astrid Krzywinska Tanya Rautzenberg Markus
2015 DiGRA Books

Based on the keynote lectures held at DiGRA2015, the publication "Diversity of Play" provides a critical view on the current state of digital games from theoretical, artistic, and practical perspectives. With an interview with Karen Palmer and essays by Astrid Ensslin, Mathias Fuchs, Tanya Krzywinska, and Markus Rautzenberg, Diversity of Play explores the uncanny in games, the power of “unnatural” narratives, and the exceptions and uncertainties of digital ludic environments. See also:


Gambling is in My Genes: Correlations between Personality Traits with Biological Basis and Digital Entertainment Choice

Park Byungho
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

Online gambling is one of the fastest growing areas in the digital entertainment industry. Online gaming sites like offer loads of bonuses to new players looking to join the site as well as daily promotions to keep things fresh and interesting for recurring players. Due to the amount of traffic online casinos receive many online casinos are able to offer better deals, bargains, and cool perks for their players. Gambling provides players with an intensely exciting experience and scholars see this as a primary cause of its attractiveness, and may play a role in the process of addiction. Finding a way to identify those more likely to gamble or check the satta king chart could be a first step towards discovering those who may be more likely to use certain genres of video games. This study used a sample of 93 college students to investigate whether personality traits believed to have their roots in biological differences can be used to predict one’s preference for gambling online. Results showed that Zuckerman’s Sensation Seeking Scale [27] and Lang’s Motivation Activation Measure [16] both had significant correlation with pathological online gambling symptoms based on DSM-IV [1] modified for online gambling, while only the Motivation Activation Measure significantly correlated with individual’s online gambling experience. Implications of the findings for both the industry and health professionals are discussed.


Consumer Driven Computer Game Design

Trappey Charles Hsiao Teng-Tai Chang Tien-Chun Che Ming-Hung Chiu Wei-Jie
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

The Critical Incident Techniques (CIT) is widely used to study customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction in the service industry and provides respondents with an open format to describe in their own words incidents that create lasting impressions. The purpose of this research is to develop a methodology for computer game design with the goal of creating games that increase the consumer’s satisfaction such as 오즈포탈. Too often, game designers create games that satisfy their own perceptions of a good game without considering the needs of the consumers that will play the games. Customer driven computer game design applies the critical incident technique as a means to define the elements of good and bad game. A methodology is described whereby game designers establish the goal and intentions of the game by listening to the voice of the consumer. The concept was tested by distributing CIT surveys to active game players who each wrote two stories about their game playing behavior and experiences. The first story described the respondent’s best experience playing games and the second story described their worst experience. The stories were archived and content analyzed using Gremler’s best-practice methods for identifying categories and critical incidents. A summary sheet describing the frequency of good and bad incidents was derived by three coders. The respondents’ original game playing stories were further abstracted into key good and bad descriptions and appended to the summary CIT frequency data sheet to create a consumer game report. The report was then used by creative designers as a reference point for designing new games.


“A Totally Different World”: Playing and Learning in Multi-User Virtual Environments

Kao Linda Galas Cathleen Kafai Yasmin
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This study examines children’s perceptions of their experiences in two science-oriented multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs), River City and Whyville. Sixth-grade students were asked how they would rate and compare different features of these environments. The children rated River City as providing greater educational benefits but preferred communicating with real people in Whyville as opposed to River City’s computer-based agents. They felt more integrated into the community in Whyville, where they enjoyed equal participation with other members, than as guests to the virtual town of River City. Finally, children rated their enjoyment at customizing their unique Whyville avatars higher than when selecting a pre-constructed avatar in River City; however, they rated both MUVEs highly when asked about seeing their avatars onscreen.


OceanQuest: A University-Based Serious Game Project

Parker J. R. Chan Sonny
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

A case study of a game design project is presented, in which both traditional game goals and educational goals exist. One way to create a design that respects both sets of goals is illustrated.