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Participatory Game Design (2006)

Why do people engage in social activities around games? Can gamers and gaming communities be seen as resources in game design and innovation? What would such design processes be like, and how could we create platforms for collaboration between gamers and developers?

Work in the area was initiated through a study of a gamer subculture focusing on modding popular games by means of various hardware interventions. Examples include a custom-built Jeopardy game for large groups, and dance-mats replacing the hand controls of Mario Ware.

05_console_club_02A further project in the area is Deep Playability, aiming to develop design practices at the border between game development, game testing and player community management. There is an increasing acknowlegement of the active role of gamers as cocreators of the gaming experience and the need to move away from the traditional milestone model of game development, including the need to nurture games through their whole lifecycle. Methods and practices from interaction design like rapid prototying, participatory design and social interaction design can enrich the game developers’ understanding of their target audiences. (Deep Playability was funded by KK-stiftelsen.)

Malmö University credits: Mikael Jakobsson, Simon Niedenthal