Category: Game studies (page 1 of 2)

Establishing New Genres in Digital Games: The Auto Battler Case Study

ABSTRACT: The paper discusses the criteria about how one can establish if a group is a new genre. It distinguishes between two main lines of thinking about genre in general – content and discourse. Both lines have two things to discuss. For content it is similarities and differences in mechanics, and for discourse it is commercial and social purpose of the use of new categories. The case studies then show how this can be applied to the rising auto battler class. There are 7 core mechanics in games that are similar, but every game differs in small details from others. The discourse in the social and commercial sphere has appeared over a short time period, and the adoption of the new genre by the gaming community was therefore fast. The bottom line of the text is that using rigid categories for discussions about digital games cannot focus only on rigid criteria, but also on context.

KEY WORDS: auto battler, core mechanics, digital games, game typologies, genres studies, modding.

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The Development of Ethical Education through Digital Games: The Butterfly Effect Implementation

ABSTRACT: The demands of educational practice are changing alongside our dynamically changing society. It is, therefore, necessary to purposefully and systematically seek ways to motivate, teach, and develop independent thinking among learners. This theoretical study aims to identify and characterize the essential assumptions and reasons for the implementation of digital games into ethical education classes. The fundamental premise is the thematic variability of game narratives, and a fulfillment of the experience attributes through the interactivity both in terms of the direct interactivity of the learner and the medium and in the subsequent discussion as a part of value reflection. Attention is focused on the process of ethical decision-making, ethical dilemmas, and problems that can be identified in many digital games containing at least a basic narrative structure. Interactive narration includes, besides the story itself, the influence of the participant on the further direction of the storyline, allowing players to see the consequences of their individual decisions within simulated situations. The study explores a game principle – the butterfly effect – in the context of ethical decision-making in particular through the game Detroit: Become Human, as well as demonstrates its usability within ethical education classes.

KEY WORDS: butterfly effect, decision-making, Detroit: Become Human, digital games, dilemmas, ethical education, game-based learning, storytelling.

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‘Is This a Joke?’: The Delivery of Serious Content through Satirical Digital Games

ABSTRACT: Games that utilize satire have largely been unexplored despite their potential to be used as learning supplements or tools to foster conversations around difficult large-scale topics. To what game genre do these games belong, and what are the uses and benefits for learning from such games? In this exploration study, we examine six popular and culturally relevant digital games (5 directly, 1 indirectly) utilizing satire as part of their narrative and gameplay. The range of games covers topics such as global overpopulation, the use of artificial intelligence for surveillance, and the process of mass capitalist production and the manner of its consumption. Satirical digital games serve both the purposes of serious games and entertainment games, pointing to the problematic connotations of the term serious games. It is suggested that the name satirical games is used to describe digital games created for entertainment with underlying political messages and to make a statement and/or commentary on society. Satirical games have potential as powerful learning tools to help facilitate discussion around difficult topics about society’s functions and practices. Future studies should examine additional digital game titles that rely on satire in their narrative and gameplay and investigate the relationship between satire and its role in the learning goals of the games.

KEY WORDS: digital games, game-based learning, informal learning, satire, serious games.

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Watch a Film, Play a Game – Play a Film, Watch a Game: Notes on the ‘Intermedia-Presence’ of Digital Games in Cinema

ABSTRACT: The present study does not approach digital games per se and in accordance with the, so to speak, matter-of-course habitus, i. e. within the frame of game studies discourse (regardless of the ludology-narratology debate and probably even continuing tension), but rather in a wider cultural context and that by following essentially their relations to other cultural contents and phenomena, cinema in particular. Hence the intermediality discourse is within the pursued reflection applied as, from the point of view of the author, a fruitful framework. Intermediality can be legitimately approached as such a relation between media which, as Petr Szczepanik puts it, ‘creates indivisible fusions’. If we accept this thesis and utilize it as a starting point, film – connecting image, word and sound – appears to be intermedial apriori. On the basis of this and in connection with digital games (which, by the way, can be in terms of the aforementioned understood as intermedial a priori, too), such cinematic works of art – naturally, pars pro toto – are in the centre of interest here in which the a priori intermedial character of film is in a sense amplified or rather brought to a square (film as ‘intermedium2‘) – in this case and context by evincing ties, implicit and/or explicit, to digital games.

KEY WORDS: digital games, experience, film, intermedia, intermediality.

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In-World Marketing in Second Life

ABSTRACT: The aim of this exploratory study is to identify the main advertising tools used in-world the in the virtual world Second Life. The main categories of products and services available within the world were defined and divided: the advertising opportunities into free marketing tools, official tools and in-world marketing tools. Second Life creates a unique platform, which allows the creation of a virtual business with profits in real life. Advertising and in-world marketing offers them the option to promote virtual goods. The main marketing tools within the virtual environment are defined and elaborated with specific cases. The lack of literature related to Second Life is visible in the sources and the environment is still unexplored, therefore we used personal experience from our 11 year presence within the virtual environment and virtual business in Second Life.

KEY WORDS: advertising, in-world, marketing, marketing tools, second life, virtual business, virtual world.

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Easter Eggs in Digital Games as a Form of Textual Transcendence (Case Study)

ABSTRACT: Easter eggs are a well-known and popular phenomenon throughout the whole of pop culture, and the interactive nature of digital games unleashes the full potential of their implementation, as well as integrating them into the gamers’ experience. The study focuses on Easter eggs in digital games from a structural point of view to understand them on the fundamental text level. With this aim, the analysis consists of applying Genette’s textual transcendence to a specific digital game, The Talos Principle. The paper represents part of the introductory theoretical framework to the following research on comprehensive Easter eggs’ classification.

KEY WORDS: digital games, Easter eggs, textual transcendence, The Talos Principle, transtextuality.

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Political Marketing in Digital Games: ‘Game Over’ for Traditional Political Marketing Methods

ABSTRACT: This study focuses on digital games that have become powerful persuasion tools which can be utilized for political marketing purposes. The authors believe that these media have to be thoroughly explored, because of the great potential of these platforms to become very useful tools for setting up political messages and the outreach capacity to the voting segment being difficult to achieve if only traditional media are used. The paper provides a set of theoretical views on political marketing in digital games. There are many examples analyzed in the paper, proving that the techniques of political marketing can create big benefits and that they can help politicians achieve their goals. So, we hypothesized a new phase of political marketing, underpinned by the utilization of digital games. As a methodology, we used content analysis of various digital games. The aim of this paper is to offer a better understanding of the benefits of political marketing campaigns in the digital gaming industry and to explore the role and impact of these techniques, as well as to provide potential future directions of this form of marketing.

KEY WORDS: digital games, future directions, political marketing, political messages.

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Games and ADHD-ADD: A Systematic Mapping Study

ABSTRACT: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-developmental disorder that starts in childhood and has a persistent pattern of behaviour involving lack of attention and/or hyperactivity-impulsiveness that interferes in social, academic or work processes, or reduces the quality of them. Through activities with games, children and adolescents improve memory, concentration, motor planning and time management skills. According to some studies these may present positive effects for the attention span, executive functions, working memory and other cognitive skills. However, there are few studies that explain their effects. This paper presents a systematic mapping study and underlines the direction taken by the empirical studies undertaken on the use of digital games in treating ADHD and ADD. A total of 12 articles, covering 2005 to 2015, were selected. The research questions behind the study were: RQ1 What particular characteristics have been investigated by researchers?; RQ2 What research methods have been used?; and RQ3 On which game has the study on ADD-ADHD been focused?. There are studies are focused on the risk of addiction, increased attention deficit or behaviour problems and studies evaluating the improvement in executive functions, reduction in hyperactivity and motivation. The research methods used were experimental and exploratory methods. Finally, the digital games are analyzed without distinguishing between the genres and theme of the game.

KEY WORDS: adolescents, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, digital games, children, literature review, systematic mapping study.

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Real-Life Frustration from Virtual Worlds: The Motivational Potential of Frustration

ABSTRACT: The presented paper offers a short general introduction to frustration followed by a discourse on frustration as an integral part of gaming experience with the core distinction between positive in-game frustration and negative at-game frustration. The potential of frustration to increase motivation to play, emotional engagement and immersion is outlined. The paper includes comprehensive research using the means of a questionnaire (n=159) and content analysis (n=327) identifying types of frustrating situations in games, perceived sources of frustration, the behavioural impact of frustration and the relationship between locus of control and ascribed source of frustration. Results showed toxic behaviour as a leading cause of frustration. The most common declared behavioural output of frustration caused by the toxic behaviour of other players was quitting a game for a certain amount of time. Frustration showed the most motivational potential within the category of frustrating situations related to gamers e.g. being stuck in a part of the game, losing, not succeeding, etc. At-game frustration concerns mainly the category called the “game itself”. Most often the game was blamed for insuffi ciencies in game mechanics or game design, malfunctioning and technical issues within the game. The presented research did not show a statistically signifi cant association between the source of frustration and a participant’s locus of control. The paper has potential in terms of game design and research of emotion, motivation or immersion.

KEY WORDS: behaviour, digital games, frustration, locus of control, motivation.

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Typology of Game Principles in Digital Games: A Case Study of Mafia III

ABSTRACT: The presented study dwells on the issue of game theory by Roger Caillois to be applied to the contemporary dimension of digital games. The actual attempt is to fi nd out the extent to which the game principle categories apply to media products, i.e. digital games. The paradigms by authors engaged in cultural anthropology, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, besides others, served as key theoretical groundwork for the present paper. Nevertheless, the theories concluded within media study addressing the game and game principles in contemporary society have not been excluded either. In essence, the theoretical refl ection introduces the basic terminology axis creating an apt platform for the game variants in use, to perform within the forms of new reality, i. e. virtual reality. The primary aim is to defi ne elementary concepts like “game”, “game principles”, “media or virtual space”, “digital game”, and “game genres”. Secondary is then to explicate certain game principles designated by Roger Caillois present in the particular game. Material to be applied for this study ranks among the genre of action games. “Action game” particularly is a digital genre that belongs to frequent genre types as well as RPG games, strategy and others. Drawing from this fact, one of the actual digital games called Mafia III was chosen for empirical study. The main purpose of the paper is through logical analysis to illustrate the issue of games, and subsequently point out the cases of their occurrence in the media space. Theoretical postulates by Roger Caillois are by author assumed to be potentially applicable to the current media reality of digital games that come under action genres.

KEY WORDS: action game, adrenaline, agon, alea, competition, digital game, fortune, game, game genres, game principles, ilinx, Mafia III, media reality, mimicry, physical and mental identity, risk, vertigo, virtual reality.

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