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Creativity in the video game industry

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In: Creativity: Fostering, Measuring and Contexts ISBN: 978-1-61668-807-3
Editor: Alessandra M. Corrigan © 2009 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Chapter 6
CREATIVITY IN THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY1
Peter Zackariasson1 and Timothy L. Wilson2
1Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg, School of Business,
Economics and Law
2Umeå Business School. Umeå University
In the summer of 1961 an MIT student by the name of Steve ‘Slug’ Russell was tinkering
with the campus computer. It was not a very complex computer by today’s standards, but by
the standard of that time it was highly complex, not to mention expensive. Steve was
exploring the possibilities of that machine - more precisely, trying to demonstrate with an
engaging and fun program the capabilities of this machine. And making a game was, in his
eyes, the best way to go about it. This creative achievement would not only be the start of
Steve’s career, but also of an industry that, just as in this first game, thrives on creativity and
tinkering with computers.
The result of Steve’s tinkering was the video game Spacewar. This game is credited as
the first ‘real’ video game (Demaria and Wilson 2004, Kent 2001). Despite its crude setup,
consisting of two spaceships dueling on a round monitor, it quickly achieved immense
popularity. It is said that the game was copied onto most university computers in the USA at
that time. The impact of this game grew as more, and more, people saw it, and played it.
Nolan Bushnell, for example, was an avid gamer2 of Spacewar, he would later establish the
Atari Company. This was one of the first large company developing video games, and it was
highly successful in the early days of the video game industry.
Although the first video games were constructed for mini-computers, the main platform
for the growing number of commercial video games in the early 1970s was the bulky arcade
machines; the most popular games being Spacewar and the legendary Pong, a tennis game for
two. In the early 1980s, game consoles were introduced on the home entertainment market. In
a short time these became very popular, only later to be replaced by the PC as the main
1 This chapter was first presented at the 3rd Conference on Cultural Economics, Paris, 2 October 2008.
2 A person playing a video game is called a gamer
Peter Zackariasson and Timothy L. Wilson
gaming platform. Today, the game console (for example Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox
and Nintendo Wii) has somewhat regained its position as the main platform for gaming3.
No matter if one is a gamer or not, one has to admire the growth and creativity in the
video game development industry. This industry has, in a very short time, grew from being
non-profit creative explorations of capabilities in computers to an industry that today has
surpassed that of the Hollywood box office in revenues. Whereas Steve Russell in an
interview said that “We thought about trying to make money off it [Spacewar] for two or
three days but concluded that there wasn’t a way that it could be done,” (Kent 2001, page 20),
video games today comprise an industry with high financial input, but also potentially high
return of investment. Throughout the growth of this industry creativity has been the core
competence in making successful and profitable video games.
Creativity in the video game industry is present throughout the entire structure. This
means that it drives the industry, creating endless opportunities, at the same time as it creates
great pressure. One would, at a first glance, think that this was a highly technological
environment. This is true, to some extent. But as we will describe later in this text, technical
logics and perfection may not have that much to do with successful video games. One has to
look at it from artistic and creative perspectives in most parts of the process of developing and
publishing a video game.
In this chapter we will present the main areas of the industry and how creativity drives
this industry in each of these areas. First, a primary aspect is the essence of what the video
game itself presents; with endless of opportunities, carte blanche, there are the developers
themselves that construct the boundary of all possibilities. Secondly, the industry structure is
in a sense a traditional publishing structure, similar to other publishing industries. Creativity
here tends to be a negotiated result but it also leaves possibilities for alternative production
and distribution. Third, the structure of a studio developing video games is created to provide
a foundation in which creativity thrives, a structure where iterations in development is
expected; as defining ‘fun’ and how to reach it is, to say the least, difficult. Here we will
depend upon observations made in one specific company (but one that is fairly typical of the
industry). We will end this chapter with three creative challenges for this industry; challenges
that have to be overcome if this industry is to be as successful in the future as it has been in
the past.
WHAT IS A VIDEO GAME
In theory, a video game could be about just anything: from imitations of real-life
activities and realistic graphical visualization to very abstract concepts and visualization.
Video games have, per definition, no limitations! In fact, the only restrictions is those
imposed by the developers themselves, their creativity and imagination.
The molding clay developers have to work with is defined in concepts of what a video
game is: what constitute a fun game, and how can we create a sense of immersion? Therefore,
the complexity of a video game makes every bit of creative work a challenge for developers.
3 www.theesa.com, accessed 2008-10-25
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Creativity in the Video Game Industry
[The video game] is the most complex toy ever built and is vastly more responsive than
any other toy ever invented. Compare it, for example, with its contemporary, the doll Chatty
Cathy, which has about a dozen different sentences with which to respond when you pull the
string. Chatty Cathy does not take into account the variety of your responses; the computer
does. Chatty has a dozen responses; the computer has millions (Sutton-Smith 1986, cited in
Salen and Zimmerman 2004, page 85).
So what is a video game then, actually? A video game is a specific kind of digital
entertainment in which the gamer interacts with a digital interface and is faced with
challenges of various kinds, depending on the plot of the game. The gamer basically interacts
with a computer, which can be a variety of electronic devices such as a cellular phone, a game
console, a PC, or an arcade machine.
Juul (2005, page 36) proposes that a definition of a game consists of these six features:
1. Rules: Games are rule-based.
2. Variable, quantifiable outcome: Games have variable, quantifiable outcomes.
3. Valorization of outcome: The different potential outcomes of the game are assigned
different values, some positive and some negative.
4. Player effort: The player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome. (Games are
challenging.)
5. Player attached outcome: The player is emotionally attached to the outcome of the
game in the sense that a player will be [a] winner and “happy” in [the] case of a
positive outcome, but a loser and “unhappy” in [the] case of a negative outcome.
6. Negotiable consequences: The same game [set of rules] can be played with or
without real-life consequences.
These features are general and could, according to Juul (2005), be applied to all types of
games. Video games could be included under the definition of “games”, but looking at video
games from a more general perspective, these rules should be included as part of what
characterizes video games. We therefore argue that video games consist of three essential
parts: setting, sensory stimuli, and rules.
The setting consists of the genre and the plot of the game its overarching situational
placement. Today there are several different genres of video games, the most common being:
adventure, fighting, first-person shooter (FPS), massively multiplayer online games
(MMOG), platform, puzzle, racing, retro, role-playing (RP), shoot ‘em up, simulation, sports,
strategy, and survival horror. The video game genre can be compared to book genres and, just
as with books, the different genres require thinner or thicker plots. Depending on the genre,
the plot usually also drives the game forward. Adventure games (e.g. The Longest Journey by
Funcom) have thick plots; as the game unfolds, the gamer is engaged in the story, which
forms the backbone of the game. The opposite is the first-person shooter games (e.g. Half-
Life 2 by Valve Software) in which the plot really does not matter. This type of game depends
on action, also defined as gameplay; constant hiding, chasing, and killing – a mix of activities
that have come to be known as “hack n’ slash”.
As gamers interact with the video game, they experience sensory stimuli. Of our five
sensory stimuli (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste), today’s gamers can sense only sight,
hearing, and on occasion touch. The first two are the most common and are present in almost
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Peter Zackariasson and Timothy L. Wilson
every game. As for the visual sense, there are graphical representations on the screen, either
fantasy settings or settings that intend to mirror real life. The gamer reacts to the graphics, and
the gamer’s actions are presented graphically on the screen in return. There are two
dimensions of sound in video games: the diegetic and the extra diegetic. Diegetic sound is
action-specific – the sound made when a gamer honks a car horn, for instance, or fires a gun.
Extra diegetic sound is the background noise that cannot be attributed to a specific action in
the game. It aims at creating an atmosphere: sounds from cars and people in a city or music
scores. Using force-feedback technology applications, a sense of touch can be simulated when
navigating in the game. On a PC, this technology exists only as add-on hardware devices,
such as a joystick, or steering wheel for racing games that vibrates or presents movements in
accordance with what happens in the game. Most consoles today employ this technology in
the form of vibrating, handheld units. This sensory experience is also common in arcade
machines/simulators, where the gamer sits in a model of a car or plane and is offered a greater
range of possible movements than would be possible with a PC and a joystick. Our other two
sensory stimuli are today mostly left unexploited in commercial video games, although both
of them have been explored in research projects on video games.
Video games have rules, and it is here that Juul’s (2005) six features contribute to the
understanding of games. Rules form the basic mechanisms of the game and comprise code
and engine. All games rely on rules. Most of them follow a simple diagram of “IF” and
“THEN” statements that guide the workings of the game and the gamer’s interaction with the
game. Consequences have been coded into the game for every interaction. IF the gamer
presses “space”, for example, THEN the gun that is being held will fire. The game engine is
even more fundamental. This core technology primarily handles the rendering of graphics:
how the graphics are presented on the screen. But it also handles other features, including
artificial intelligence (AI): how the computer-generated forces in the game move and react
and collision detection occurs between units, for example. Successful game engines are
products in themselves, as they can be leased to other game developers constructing new
games on these platforms. This was the case with the engines developed for, among others,
Doom, Quake, and Half-life.
Developers face the challenge of making these parts work well together, to provide
balance in the game. If they are creative enough to succeed in this task, the gamers will not
distinguish any irregularities in the representation of the setting in the video game they are
playing. They will, in a sense, be one with the game and feel immersed into its virtual world.
This feeling can be compared to being immersed in a film, where time and space lose their
relevance while the audience has a feeling of “being there”, within the film itself. A game, or
a film, that leaves the audience unaffected has in some senses failed in their task.
Now, if creativity leads to a fun and immersive game, what makes a game good in an
objective sense? To say that a game is good or bad is, of course, the result of a highly
subjective experience, not unlike evaluating a film as good or bad. From a developer’s or a
publisher’s perspective, it is slightly easier to define what a good game is, because there
seems to be an industry praxis4 by which variables can be used to measure quality: sales and
reviews. The primary indicator is, of course, sales figures, which vary depending on the
market and the genre. A game in which the figures meet or exceed the sales goals can be
considered a good game; those that do not meet the goals may be considered bad games. But
4 These two categories have repeatedly been referred to in informal discussions with developers of video games.
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Creativity in the Video Game Industry
this is, in fact, an oversimplification. A second variable that is used to measure the quality of a
game: the rating the game acquires in game magazines (mostly performed by journalists) and
on the Internet (mostly executed by the gamers themselves). A game that does not meet the
sales goals can still be considered a good game if it has received positive ratings in one of
these two media. There might always be external factors in any launch of a new video game
decreasing its sales; therefore it is important to include both of these factors when evaluating
possible success.
The essence of the game itself thus presents the molding clay developers can use in a
creative process. If these aspects are not being challenged enough the end product will
become just one of many games on the market. If these aspects are challenged too hard the
game will fail as a game as consumers will not recognize it as such 5. Keeping this balance is a
constant process that involves developer and publisher, and the industry as a whole.
INDUSTRY STRUCTURE
The structure of the video game industry is quite similar to other creative industries: the
actors and the relationships among them can be recognized from, for example, the film
industry or music industry, and other industries involved in developing and distributing
various forms of creative media. The main actors in the gaming industry are developers,
publishers, distributors, and retailers (Dymek and Rehn 2003, Kent 2001, Kerr 2006,
Zackariasson and Wilson 2006a). Of course there are exceptions, depending on financial
stability and ambitions. Distributors and retailers are not included in this chapter as they are
not that interesting from a creativity perspective6.
Video game developers conduct the artistic and technical work of building the game.
They work in game studios, creating games that are based primarily on their own ideas, the
ideas of a publisher, or the idea of an IP owner (for example owners to the Intellectual
Properties of the superhero Superman). Contrary to popular misconceptions, game developers
today are not a bunch of teenage boys working in their parents’ basements in their spare time.
This might have been the case some 20 years ago, but today the funding needed in this
business requires a businesslike approach to development. The cost of developing an AAA
title (more than 1 million copies sold) tends to exceed 15 million Euros. Consequently, such
high costs drastically limit the type and number of studios with the financial capacity to
develop state of the art video games.
There is an element of catch-22 in acquiring financing for the development of a video
game: one must spend money to receive money. Most video game developers do not have the
financial capacity to develop a game; they thus need funding from a publisher. In order to
develop a game, a developer must first make a demo that presents the idea to a potential
publisher usually a playable game with the most basic, and important for competitive
advantage, features already implemented. Developing the demo requires an investment in
time, machine power and, not to be forgotten, the experience of making it work as one whole
5 On very few occasions have a new kind of game successfully been introduced on the market. A type of game
that the gamer has not seen before and thus might have problem conceiving as a game. One example of this is
Will Wright’s, now highly successful, simulation games: SimCity (Brøderbund), SimEarth (Maxis), The Sims
(Electronic Arts), Spore (Electronic Arts) etc.
6 Except perhaps as they relate to individual game promotions, which is outside the present discussion.
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Peter Zackariasson and Timothy L. Wilson
game. Without the substantive funds required to create the demo, there is nothing to pitch, to
market, to an intended publisher. Only when an established relationship exists between a
developer and a publisher may the publisher be willing to settle for a concept and some initial
graphics rather than a demo. A studio with experience in the development of games will
benefit from having a portfolio of completed projects, subsequently receiving a higher trust
for completing games with market potentials.
There are three ways in which developers may relate to a publisher: as a third-party
developer, as an in-house developer, or as an independent developer. A third-party developer
works under contract with a publisher for the development of each game – a relationship that
frequently expands to a long-term relationship with several games. The developer, Firaxis
Games, that created the game, Civilization 4, for the publisher, 2K Games, is such an
example.
Relationships between third-party developers and studios can often lead to a merger
between the two, turning the studio into an in-house developer. Massive Entertainment and
Blizzard Entertainment, for instance, both became permanent parts of the publisher, in this
case the French publisher Vivendi Universal Games (at present time these relationships are
changed).
The independent developer has been made possible primarily because of the Internet and
the possibility of publishing a game digitally. A consumer frequently downloads and pays for
these games online, but there are also developers that have the financial capability of selling
their games through the regular point-of-sale in stores. Despite opportunities offered by the
Internet, shelf space is still important for the visibility of games. Yet games are rarely
randomly purchases; gamers are more likely to see and feel the game, to study the text and
screenshots, and to pick up a nicely designed game box has traditionally been important;
although this artifact is loosing ground.
The structure of game development presents possibilities of being creative, but also
limitations. In most productions it is the publisher that carries the financial risk. This makes the
developer extremely sensitive to the market potential of any suggested game. They cannot
afford to fund a game that does not sell. This can leave the developer of a game with the
impression that the publisher does not give them sufficient room for being creative, or that
publishers are unwilling to fund innovative games. On the other hand, if a developer has proven
its ability to create successful games they can enjoy beneficiary treatment for exploring
potentials in game development, funded by a financially strong and trusting publisher.
CREATIVE DEVELOPERS
When creating video games, most development studios aim at creating an environment
that supports the creativity of the people working in the organization, i.e. one that provides a
place where this creativity can grow and thrive. This framework serves the function of
organizing people and technology in the process by which the game is developed. But, these
aspects alone do not ensure a creative studio where fun and immersive games are created,
rather they make it possible for creativity to be nurtured and utilized by people in the
organization – so that fun games are, hopefully, the output (Tschang 2007).
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Creativity in the Video Game Industry
Figure 1. Organization and Workflow of a Video Game Developer
In this section we will depend upon observations made of an individual firm that serves
as a good example of a medium sized developer, Massive Entertainment AB (Walfisz et al.
2006, Zackariasson 2003, Zackariasson et al. 2006a, Zackariasson et al. 2006b). Using
observations of a specific company make the description of creativity in developers more
concrete. Additionally, the observations made in this firm serve as a useful foundation for
discussing other firms because basically they all face the similar tasks of effectively and
efficiently coordinating development tasks.
The organization chart used by the company at the time of the study captured not only
some sense of organizing, but also the flow of work (see Figure 1 above). The firm is loosely
built on a “project organization,” but the term “production team” used within the company
(insofar as they tend to work on a single project at a time) is equally applicable. As is
common in most professional game production, four teams comprise the working
organization, and these teams coincide with the tasks that must be accomplished in the
production of any game programming, art, audio and design. The arrows indicate the
general flow of work from programming through design, but of course there is significant
feedback among the teams during any given development cycle. The organization is focused
on the product manager and centers on the leads of each of the four development areas. These
leads are the individuals responsible for the output in their respective areas. The product
manager has a role equivalent to that of a project manager, coordinating resources and
keeping track of the project. The arrows leading to the development leads, which tend to
make Figure 1 a little messy, represent this coordination and control. In this particular
situation, the CEO played the role of product/project manager.
There are two producers in the organization – one internal and one external. The internal
producer, also the CEO, is responsible for the biweekly “builds that capture up-to-date
progress, whereas the external producer, the publisher, produces the commercial version and
interacts (markets the product) with consumers. In this case, the external producer owns the
company, which of course has implications for the financing and selection of game projects.
At the time of the field visits, there were 20 to 25 members in this production team, and the
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Peter Zackariasson and Timothy L. Wilson
game that they were working on had recently been released with a reasonable share of
acclaim in the press and praise from the gamers7.
Video game development projects tend to be special compared to other product
development and production projects. Although a Gantt-chart8 approach lends basic
understanding of projects and may work well for construction projects, that same approach
may actually interfere with game development. The result being that game developers are
finding it hard to work with a generic project model. The authors, in co-operation with the
CEO of Massive Entertainment AB, have done some original research on the conduct of game
development projects (Walfisz et al. 2006, Zackariasson et al. 2006a). Instead of being linear,
they depend upon co-operation among groups and require updating of objectives with
successive progress.9
With regard to this situation, the one objective the CEO had “was to develop games that
were fun and immersed their gamers.” Fun and immersion, however, had to be defined as the
games were built. The in-house approach that was set up thus ascertained whether fun was
being built into the game as it was developed. In the initial phase of the project a concept
team developed a number of conceptual documents and sketches of the game. When a
concept was agreed upon as a good platform to start from, the development phase would be
initiated. Each two weeks the portions of the game that had been developed were placed into
a “build,” which was a playable version of the game. It was at this point that an aesthetic
aspect of creativity entered. Quality in development, both technical and aesthetic, could be
assessed on the basis of these intermittent builds and changes could be made accordingly.
Participants were encouraged to keep this in mind. Visible throughout the office space were
banners that posed the question, “What can I do today to improve the experience of the
gamer?”
The company has thus developed a heuristic (Simon 1996, pages 27-28) that allowed it to
systematically approach its opportunities while maintaining an element of control. This model
not only affected each project individually, but the whole company as an enterprise
(Zackariasson et al. 2004). In effect, the company had developed its own prescript that
protected its technology without necessarily relying upon key individuals (Anell and Wilson
2002). Basically, the in-house approach ran 10-day mini-projects with each team working on
its area. At the end of ten days things were put together and progress was evaluated toward
the “(more) fun” game. These builds impacted future goals.
7 At the time of writing Massive Entertainment has released a very successful sequel. The company has also
expanded and now employs 130 “passionate and creative employees”. (www.massive.se)
8 A technique for planning time and resource allocation in a project.
9 The project model Evolutionary Game Development that was developed within Massive Entertainment falls
under the category of agile software development. These kinds of models have, since early 2000, become
immensely popular in game development so that most developers require knowledge of agile software
development, especially Scrum, when screening potential hires.
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Creativity in the Video Game Industry
Figure 2. Nature of Game Development at Massive Entertainment AB
Simon (1996, page 162) has in fact suggested that a paradoxical, but perhaps realistic,
view of design goals is that they both motivate activity and generate new goals. An attempt
has been made to diagram this approach in Figure 2 above, in which we show it as a spiral
sloping upward with two tails. The tails represent the initiation and completion stages of the
project. The cycles tend to be circular, but because there is ongoing progress, the overall
process is represented as a spiral to denote continued progress. Finally, although Gantt charts,
which are normally utilized in planning and controlling projects, are normally downward
flowing toward completion, we have sketched the helix as tilting upward. In this way, we
connote progress as “spiraling up” toward a desired state of output instead of “spiraling
down.”
A cross-sectional depiction of a single cycle in this helix would suggest that three types
of decisions are made in each phase of development (see Figure 3 below). First, there are the
“continuous opportunities of redefinition.” Drucker (1967, page 8) has indicated that in
knowledge work, individuals at the lowest level can (are forced to) make decisions that
critically affect company performance. As a policy, this company preferably hired gamers
within each specialty. By the very nature of the task, individuals were given latitude
(redefinition opportunities) in the approach taken to their assignments. The hiring approach
ensured that decisions within this context would be made from a gamer’s point of view – if it
were exciting to the individual doing the job, there was a reasonable chance that it would be
exciting to a paying gamer. The second type of decision came mid-way through the mini-
project on the fifth day. At this point, the internal producer and team leads met and discussed
approaches and problems. If there were needs for mid-cycle changes, they were addressed
here so as not to waste the second week. Finally, the internal producer would put together
advances to date in an operating build at the end of each 10-day cycle, which each staff
member was expected to play. From the feedback from those individual experiences, an
evaluation was made of efforts and the path for the next cycle was set. In a two-year period,
there could be 40 to 50 of these cycles that led to the final offering.
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Peter Zackariasson and Timothy L. Wilson
Figure 3 - Evolutionary Game Development
The production phase in the heuristic is built around two-week (10 working days) cycles,
each resulting in a “game build”. It is these cycles that have replaced the task and milestones
of a typical, linear approach to the development projects. Within each cycle, each individual
has things to do in cooperation with other individuals in his/her group and in cooperation with
other groups. The individuals are also encouraged to make their own creative contributions as
illustrated by the small circles in Figure 3. The result of these iterations is cycles where
creativity can drive the development toward a fun and immersive game.
FUTURE CHALLENGES IN CREATIVITY
In the text above we have argued that creativity is a pivotal aspect in the video game
industry. As the game itself presents almost an unlimited number of possibilities, being
creative enough to explore unique aspects of these possibilities is surely one key to success.
But, in order for the video game industry to follow the same successful road it has done thus
far, it has to resolve three creative challenges that will face the industry in a near future: the
lack of qualified candidates for employment, a growing consumer base, and a convergence of
technology as to how, when, and where games are played.
The first creative challenge is, as the industry is growing, game developing organizations
have problems filling positions with persons that have technological capabilities, experience
in video gaming and (ideally) development. This aspect is a crucial factor, as the CEO of
Massive Entertainment said, “I would rather employ a passionate gamer with less technical
skill, than a highly technical person with less knowledge about games”. This problem is
actually what is happening right now, persons with a background in other industries are
employed in the video game industry: as coders, designers, projects managers among others.
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Creativity in the Video Game Industry
This mix will have a major effect on the video games because what has been taken for granted
about games and gaming before is now up for redefinition. That is, as people with diverse
backgrounds enter video game development, the culture of game development, deeply
cherished by the developers themselves, will wither and create a setting that is more
heterogeneous and similar to other companies in other industries. In this process the industry
have a real opportunity to reinvent itself, its organization and its products. The result of this
challenge would hopefully be a more diverse set of games.
The second creative challenge is the aging and growing number of gamers. The first
generation that grew up with video games was born in the early 70s, Generation G (Beck and
Wade 2004), and every generation since then, has increasingly incorporated video games into
their media culture. The consumer base thus has increased significantly. This increase not
only means that there is a huge number of persons playing video games, but also that the
average age of gamers is increasing. Average age of gamers today is around the mid-30s (and
an even gender differentiation). Today’s game development reflects this aging very little;
firms still tend to deliver the same kind of games, directed at the same male teenagers. In
order to keep attracting the aging gaming population, the industry will have to reinvent itself
and the games that organizations develop. The genres that have attracted a person to video
games in his/her youth are not necessarily those that will satisfy their desire for fun as they
get older; video games have to evolve with these gamers.
The third creative challenge is the convergence of technology. Technological applications
today proceed with an impressive speed. That is, we are seeing innovations that make use of
established technology and combinations in new ways. Consequently, technologies are
converging, creating new ways to interact and communicate. For example, the mobile phone
today makes use of more then voice communication; there are photo, video, mail, calendar,
music and many other capabilities within each unit. For video games this convergence means
that the technological base for playing games will shift as the technology we know today
evolves. This shift will have an effect on where video games are played, how they are played
and when they are played. The time when a video game was defined by one person in front of
one computer is long gone – video games have taken to the street, making use of both virtual
and physical settings to immerse an ever growing number of gamers.
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Zackariasson, P., Walfisz, M. & Wilson, T. L. (2006a). Management of creativity in video
game development: A case study. Services Marketing Quarterly, 27(4), 73-97.
Zackariasson, P., Styhre, A. & Wilson, T. (2006b). Phronesis and creativity: Knowledge work
in video game development. Creativity and Innovation Management, 15(4), 419-429.
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... As videogames have primarily gained acceptance and dedication from younger players, the under-18 group was attached with a perception of being the main target of videogames, rendering videogaming as a childish activity (Wolf 2008). Childish perception has created an imparity for the videogame industry; as it can lead videogames to see less support than other forms of art and media do (Zackariasson and Wilson 2014). ...
... Perception of gamer identity is still associated with children and adolescents (Zackariasson andWilson 2014, Wolf 2008) along with negative behavior such as frivolity, addiction, social implications, and even physical deformations (Paaßen et al. 2016, Grooten and Kowert 2015, Storla 2011, Shaw 2010, Van Rooij et al. 2010). ...
... Research indeed indicates that videogaming carries stigmas of being childish (Zackariasson andWilson 2014, Wolf 2008), frivolous (Shaw 2012, Owens 2012, and containing negative social implications (Paaßen et al. 2016, Grooten and Kowert 2015, Storla 2011, Shaw 2010, Williams 2005. Self-misplaced gamers have agreed with the statements regarding these perceptions. ...
Thesis
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With the proliferation of digital and mobile devices over the past decade, production and consumption of digital content have expanded considerably. As an extension of digital content, videogame industry has also reached a larger audience, from a wider range of demographics. The objective of this thesis is to understand the current definitions of gamer personas from players’ own point of view. The thesis constructs the answer by focusing on various other questions; (1) what are the various classifications of videogaming dedication, (2) do players perceive themselves as a member of gamer groups aligned with their behaviors or in another group, (3) which demographics perceive themselves different, and (4) how far are the membership misplacements and in which directions? For the purpose of understanding self-misplacement, a quantitative survey has been conducted and spread online. Findings indicate that 33% of gamers place themselves on lower categories than what their actual videogaming dedication indicates. Gamers who self-misplace on dedication spectrum were analyzed and compared with respect to their videogaming behavior, attitudes, buying habits, and motivations.
... Example of organization and workflow of a video game developerSource:(Zackariasson and Wilson, 2009). ...
Article
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This paper aims to provide an overview of the studies and literature regarding creative industries, with particular consideration of the video game industry, and define potential areas of further research, among others regarding e-sports. The author seeks to define creative industries, describe the Polish and global video game industries, point to their characteristics and present the development of the Polish and global video game markets providing the examples of the conducted research. The study involves a survey of literature sources, mainly covering the themes related to creative and video game industries, seeks to analyse the global and Polish video game markets based on the data from domestic and international reports. Artykuł ma charakter teoretyczny, natomiast jego celem jest próba dokonania przeglądu badań oraz literatury w dziedzinie przemysłów kreatywnych z uwzględnieniem sektora gier komputerowych, a także zdefiniowanie potencjalnych badań, w tym uwzględniających e-sport. W tekście przed-stawiono, czym są przemysły kreatywne, jak wygląda oraz czym charakteryzuje się branża gier komputerowych, ukazano, jak rozwija się rynek gier komputerowych na świecie i w Polsce, a także zaprezentowano przykładowe kierunki badań prowadzonych w ramach sektora gier. W ramach badań przeprowadzone zostały studia literaturowe w głównej mierze skupiające się na zagadnieniach z dziedziny gospodarki kreatywnej oraz sektora gier komputerowych. W tekście podjęto próbę analizy rynku gier komputerowych na świecie oraz w Polsce na podstawie danych pozyskanych z krajowych i międzynarodowych raportów. Słowa kluczowe: przemysły kreatywne, innowacyjność, gry komputerowe, sektor gier komputerowych.
... And at times, just one developer may have to cop with various aspects of a game development process. Interdisciplinarity has become the primary structure of the game industry (Zackariasson and Wilson, 2012). The necessity of working interdisciplinary can be seen clearly when looked at the game components. ...
Article
Digital gaming industry has been an entertainment area that, since the mid 20th century, has come into prominence and distinguished itself in the game industry. Digital games have come a long way and reached large numbers of users since the time they got into the market. As for the digital game industry, the education of game design, along with the game production, is given high importance especially in USA and Europe. In these countries, game interface design with regards to programming and aesthetically designing is given place in the bachelor and master’s degree education. It can be said that, in Turkey, the number of researches in this field, lessons and game companies has been increasing in recent years. However, it’s clear that as a country, we have to come into prominence more in the international game field. As the necessity of developing more appealing, qualified and unique game interfaces is known, game companies are to act responsibly during the game interface design process. In terms of the creation of scenes, characters, environments, animations and the usage of the game engines, more professional tools and techniques are used and more original game designs are pursued nowadays. With regard to this, it’s clear that the need for qualified graphic designers to design aesthetically successful game interfaces has been increasing and will continue to. It’s seen that game design lessons have started to be given at bachelor and master’s degree programs at Universities in Turkey. Yet, the lessons are mostly on game programming at departments such as computer engineering. Game interface design lessons, on the other hand, are given at certain universities. In this study, the proposal of a game interface design lesson that can take place in the curriculum of Visual Communication Design or Graphic Departments of Fine Arts Faculties at Universities in Turkey is examined. Keywords: Game interface design education, graphic design education, game design, curricula.
Chapter
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Karşılıklı rekabet ile oynanan video, bilgisayar ve online oyunlar elektronik spor (e-spor) olarak adlandırılmaktadır. Günümüzde, giderek daha fazla insan e-sporu, binlerce insanın oynadığı ve milyonlarca insanın çeşitli çevrimiçi akışlarda izlediği büyük oyun etkinlikleriyle olarak anlaşılan e-spor (Borowy, 2008; Peša ve ark, 2017), literatürde “bilgi ve iletişim teknolojileri kullanılarak zihinsel ve fiziksel kabiliyetlerin geliştirildiği spor faaliyetleri alanlarıdır” (Wagner, 2006) diye tanımlanmaktadır. E-spor endüstrisinde 1990'larda kişisel bilgisayarların yaygınlaşması ve oyun konsollarının ortaya çıkması, oyun kültürünü de geliştirdi. Video oyunlarının oynama biçimleri değişti. Oyuncular evlerinin yanı sıra aynı zamanda internet kafelerde de oyun oynayarak daha farklı deneyimin tadını çıkarabilmektedir (Peša ve ark, 2017), akıllı telefonların yaygınlaşması ile internet üzerinden her yerde oyunlara katılabilmesi sonucunda e-spor dünyanın en hızlı büyümekte olan endüstrilerinden birisi olmuştur (Hamari ve Sjöblom, 2017). Teknolojiyi takip eden kişilere özellikle de genç kitlelere ulaşmayı sağlayabilecek bir platformdur. 2010‟lara kadar %16 ila %18 arasında büyüme gösteren sektörün büyümedeki artışı hızlanarak artmaktadır (Zackariasson ve Wilson, 2010). E-spor niş takipçileri olan sektörden gişe rekorları kıran bir endüstriye dönmüştür. Bugün, e-spor sinemaya gitmekten daha fazla tercih edilir hale gelmiştir (NPD Group, 2009). Toplam e-Spor izleyicisi 2018 yılında 389 milyon, 2019 yılında 427 milyon „dur ve 2020 yılında 589 milyon olması beklenmektedir (Statista, 2018). Bu izleyicilerin en az 100 milyonu e-Spor oyuncusu, ki bunun yaklaşık 7 milyonu Türkiye‟dedir (Yükçü ve Kaplanoğlu, 2018). Bu takipçi/oyuncu sayısı ve bu sayılardaki artış e-spor ekonomisi ve e-spor işinin gelişiminin temel dinamiğidir. Superdata (2017)‟ya göre ise, 2017 yılı e-spor gelirlerinin 1.5 milyar dolar iken %26 büyüme trendi ile 2020 de 2.3 milyar dolar olacağı öngörülmektedir (Kocaömer, 2018). Bu rakamlar, yeni ticari iş modellerinin ön habercileridir.
Conference Paper
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Cette communication se propose d'analyser la consommation de jeu vidéo comme une pratique prise dans un champ (Bourdieu, 1980). Plus précisément, elle met en évidence la façon dont des mises à jour affectent les capitaux des joueurs modifiant ainsi leurs pratiques et leur position dans cet espace social. Ces transformations se traduisent régulièrement par des tensions entre éditeurs et joueurs mais aussi entre les joueurs. Cette approche permet de dépasser les études traditionnellement réalisées sur les sous-cultures, communautés ou champs en mettant notamment en évidence l'impact de l'hétérogénéité des pratiques sur la co-production. L'étude se base sur une netnographie réalisée pendant six ans sur le forum officiel du jeu Diablo III ainsi que sur une introspection d'un des chercheurs. Les résultats permettent de discuter des mécanismes de dévaluation des capitaux des joueurs et de la réception différenciée des modifications de l'offre en fonction des positions dans le champ.
Article
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Video games and their production have evolved over a few decades from being “fun” exercises at universities to a business in which annual revenues have exceeded that of Hollywood box office receipts. Presently, development of these games has become technically more advanced, and the barrier to entry into this market as a developer is getting increasingly more costly. Consequently, there has been a move toward “professionalism” of these efforts that embodies flexibility into the creative development process. In this paper we report on the process used to develop new offerings in a successful Swedish firm. We reflect on the institutionalizing of creativity in this process and the leadership style used in directing it.
Article
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Projects have become a way of getting things done, and have moved increasingly toward achieving qualitative goals. In this article on video game development, the opportunity is taken to relate some particular observations on creative projects and their management. The essential aspects of this approach are its incorporation of individual and group creativity into its foundation, a Lindblomian process of decision making, and a substitution of a time of regular introspection for milestones. Application depends upon the ability to have interim developments available for group examination and fixing a suitable time interval to make such assessments. The approach would seem applicable to a range of possibilities, including film making, script writing, architectural rendering, and equipment design.
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One recurring theme in the discourse on global competition is the major shift in thinking about what constitute resources in the economy. It is assumed that the economists' traditional categorization into land, labor and capital has been superseded by knowledge as the prime resource. As a consequence, this belief has led to an increased interest in human resource management, human capital, and the problem of attracting and keeping good knowledge workers. It is maintained in this paper that attracting and keeping good knowledge workers will be essential for survival in the knowledge economy, but that it will not necessarily lead to a competitive advantage. Instead, the competitive advantage resides in the competence of the firm to depersonalize knowledge and codify it into software “prescripts” that can be used to duplicate markets or marketed worldwide.
Article
This article presents a study of the knowledge work involved in the development of video games. The success of these games is based on the ability to create a sense of immersion for the gamers. In the case presented here, dedicated gamers were also preferred when hiring personnel to develop the games. Speaking about the know-how of this specific group in terms of phronesis, the detailed and practical understanding of a particular field, enables an understanding of the idiosyncratic competence of this group and its importance for the development process. The video game development process is also structured to enable an open-ended process under the continuous influence of the gamers. The article concludes that innovative and creative work needs to be able to exploit a variety of competencies and that the notion of phronesis has to date been relatively under-theorized and therefore deserves more detailed attention.