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Playing Research: Methodological approaches to game analysis

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Abstract

L'estudi de l'estetica dels jocs es una practica recent que abasta menys de dues decades. A diferencia de les teories de jocs en matematiques o ciencies socials, que son molt mes antigues, els jocs es van convertir en objecte d'estudi per a les humanitats nomes quan els videojocs i jocs d'ordinador es van tornar populars. Aquesta falta d'interes continuada pot semblar estranya, pero nomes si considerem que els jocs tradicionals i els jocs d'ordinador son intrinsecament similars, la qual cosa no es aixi. Podem intentar explicar aquesta manca assenyalant que les elits estetiques i teoriques que conreen l'analisi d'objectes artistics dels mitjans (literatura, arts visuals, teatre, musica) solen considerar els jocs com una cosa trivial i popular. Pero aixo no explica el fet que els estudis estetics sobre jocs siguin possibles en l'actualitat, i fins i tot en alguns entorns academics, s'estimulin i rebin suport amb beques. Que ha passat per provocar aquest canvi? Text complet (PDF) Node complet (PDF)
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... The experiential variables obtained through methods of Applied Ludology are embodied in the form of rules of the games. This line of thought echoes the suggestion by Aarseth that game design research methodologies should focus on the design rules as they embody the game structure (Aarseth 2005;. Thus, in this paper, we take a ludological stance to identify the experiential variables and articulate how are they embodied in a game's rule system. ...
Conference Paper
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To play a game, players interact with the game system by following rules. Upon interaction, different properties emerge. The experience of fun is one of the fundamental emergent properties that players seek from a game. There are many conceptual viewpoints of fun; yet, little research on how a rule system's qualities help create fun. We present a qualitative empirical method that connects the players' fun experience in context to the rule system. We describe the protocol for the method and its rationales. Two case studies employing our method on abstract analog (non-digital) games are presented. Our method helps researchers identify experiential elements of games and design-attributes to modulate them. The design-attributes also aid in interpreting the conditions generated by the rule system for fun to emerge. Lastly, we discuss the method's strengths in terms of findings and potential applications in research and practice.
Chapter
Der Beitrag schlägt aufgrund der Vernetztheit, Dynamik und Performativität audiovisueller Formen und Praktiken im Digitalen am Beispiel von Interactive Documentaries eine Verbindung von Material- und praxeologischer Analyse vor, die die jeweilige Affordanz des Gegenstands berücksichtigt und neben den digitalen Formaten auch die damit einhergehenden Praktiken in den Blick nimmt. Ansätze zur Untersuchung der Großstruktur, Dramaturgie, Ästhetik und Interaktionsangebote werden mit Handreichungen für die Forschungspraxis verknüpft (Verweissysteme, Archivierungsformen, Transkriptionsmethoden).
Thesis
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This is a translated excerpt of my Master's thesis. The subject matter for the research is the computer game “ontological models”. I do philosophical research on computer games and focus on game ontologies. Therefore the research subject is the strategies for conceptualising and developing questions about game ontology in computer game research. The research aim is to show an extended application of the “meta-ontological” way of connecting computer game “ontological models”. In order to achieve the research aim I need to achieve the following research objectives: 1) To identify and describe computer game “ontological models” with their philosophical foundations; 2) To compare the identified computer game “ontological models” using the game “ontological meta-model”; 3) To consider the results of a computer game “meta-ontological model” extended application. 23 computer game “ontological models” were identified and described in the research. Then 22 of them were compared in the “ontological meta-model”. 18 of these models were not previously compared in the meta-model before, and 3 more of them were not included in it in their full form. The results of Aarseth’s and Grabarczyk’s computer game "ontological meta-model" extended application are demonstrated in the figures.
Article
Os jogos eletrônicos estão assumindo uma posição cada vez mais importante não apenas como mídia de entretenimento, mas também como objetos culturais amplos e potentes. Nesse artigo, me proponho a iniciar uma discussão acerca da construção do herói nos jogos eletrônicos digitais relacionando-o ao herói no cinema hollywoodiano. A partir daí pretendo pensar sobre as relações entre os públicos dos jogos e os do cinema e quais as formas que eles se relacionam com seus heróis em uma mídia e outra. Dessa forma admitimos que há semelhanças e diferenças; entre elas e principalmente, a questão do desafio, elemento formal dos jogos que se destaca por exigir uma ação e uma habilidade do jogador para que o jogo em si se realize e a trama, se houver uma, possa se desenvolver.
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Story-driven games are growing in popularity across a wide range of genres. However, the narrative potential of video games is still being debated, particularly in light of the so-called tension between gameplay and storytelling. This study proposes that rules and game mechanics perform narrative semiotic functions, offering a ludic grammar of interactive storytelling. Case studies of four representative games show through exploratory player action shaped by rules, the medium of video games can generate meanings that traditional media cannot, thereby better achieving their narrative goals.
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Los autores analizan las ideas encontradas en la revisión de la literatura referentes al diseño de experiencias lúdicas, la narratología y los mundos ficcionales dentro del contexto de los Juegos de Rol (JdR). El estudio exploratorio tiene el objetivo de clarificar el estado actual de la conversación académica, sus áreas disciplinarias y los temas comunes implementando un protocolo para la revisión, así como un modelo Inter-Disciplinario (ID) de colaboración convergente desarrollado por los autores: el Modelo GPE. En primera instancia, procedieron a identificar las dimensiones, características y elementos de la morfología de los JdR. El segundo paso consistió en ponderar el dialogo entre las narrativas ficcionales, emergentes y experienciales co-creadas en los JdR. Esto último en consonancia con las teorías más amplias sobre ficcionalidad e intertextualidad, así como los avances de las últimas décadas en la teoría de la narratología y el enfoque de la ludología construccionista
Chapter
Institutions predefine and make possible development of many social processes. As already discussed, institutions define “the rules of the game,” encouraging further social and organizational transformations. The aim of Chapter 6 is to propose an alternative approach for shaping the future institutions. By assuming institutions to be game-designers of complex social systems, there are explored the main mechanisms and elements of the game-design. Following this approach, the author discusses how institutions can transform to designers of new types of rules and social arrangements that will be more just and efficient for all. The structure of the chapter is as follows: In the first part there are identified the main elements of the game design, including game-mechanics, game-play, and game-word. The second part makes analysis of social ecosystems, where the new types of rules and regulations can stimulate creativity and innovations. Finally, an analysis is made about how institutions can figure out the gamification models and transform in order to promote new type of development and social cohesion. In this respect, Chapter 6 aims to propose an experiment of thought, discussing how to design more efficient and more socially just rules and regulations that can further ensure our sustainable development.
Chapter
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Gaming has never been disconnected from reality. When we engage with ever more lavish virtual worlds, something happens to us. The game imposes itself on us and influences how we feel about it, the world, and ourselves. How do games accomplish this and to what end? The contributors explore the video game as an atmospheric medium of hitherto unimagined potential. Is the medium too powerful, too influential? A danger to our mental health or an ally through even the darkest of times? This volume compiles papers from the Young Academics Workshop at the Clash of Realities conferences of 2019 and 2020 to provide answers to these questions.
Thesis
Full-text available
The subject matter for the research is the computer game “ontological models”. I do philosophical research on computer games and focus on game ontologies. Therefore the research subject is the strategies for conceptualising and developing questions about game ontology in computer game research. The research aim is to show an extended application of the “meta-ontological” way of connecting computer game “ontological models”. In order to achieve the research aim I need to achieve the following research objectives: 1) To identify and describe computer game “ontological models” with their philosophical foundations; 2) To compare the identified computer game “ontological models” using the game “ontological meta-model”; 3) To consider the results of a computer game “meta-ontological model” extended application. 23 computer game “ontological models” were identified and described in the research. Then 22 of them were compared in the “ontological meta-model”. 18 of these models were not previously compared in the meta-model before, and 3 more of them were not included in it in their full form. The results of Aarseth’s and Grabarczyk’s computer game "ontological meta-model" extended application are demonstrated in the figures.
Conference Paper
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In this paper, we describe a method to analyse computer games. The analysis method is based on computer games in particular and not some kind of transfer from other fi eld or studies - even though of course it is inspired from other kinds of analysis methods from varying fi elds of studies. The method is based on seven different layers of the computer game: hardware, program code, functionality, game play, meaning, referentiality, and socio-culture. Each of these layers may be analysed individually, but an entire analysis of any computer game must be analysed from every angle. Thereby we are analysing both technical, aesthetic and socio-cultural perspectives.
Chapter
Computer games are undoubtedly the most diverse and fast-changing cultural genre that ever existed. And perhaps most importantly, computer games represent a new mode of aesthetic as well as social discourse, an alternative to the narrative, which has been the leading paradigm until now: the primary means to convey knowledge and experience. Now, however, the mode of simulation is sued as an effective pedagogical tool that privileges active experimentation with its subject material rather than observation. Simulation is also a way to explore the partly unknown, to test models and hypotheses, and thus to construct and acquire new knowledge in a way narrative never could. The article at hand defends the claim that spatiality is a central theme in computer games. It starts by expanding this claim: Spatiality is the defining element in computer games. They are essentially concerned with spatial representation and negotiation, and therefore a classification of computer games can be based on how they represent space.
For a longer discussion of " games in virtual environments
For a longer discussion of " games in virtual environments, " see Aarseth 2003.
Children and Hyperreality The Loss of the Real in Contemporary Childhood and Adolescence
  • Eugene Provenzo
Provenzo, Eugene, Jr. (2001): "Children and Hyperreality The Loss of the Real in Contemporary Childhood and Adolescence" http: //culturalpolicy.uchicago.edu/conf2001/papers/ provenzo.html