Tag: Vol.3 No.2 (2020)

Punctuated Play: Revealing the Roots of Gamification

ABSTRACT: Even at the apex of its hype cycle in the 2010s, game studies scholars and designers derided gamification. This article first explores why gamification inspired such vitriol. It finds the incursion of non-game corporations and entities into the field was a threat to those who fought so ardently to legitimize the profession and promote a more playful or ludic 21st century. The article then delves deeper into the literature of play to redefine what occurs when a player engages with a gamified app, such as the social media application Foursquare. It rescripts their activity as ‘punctuated play’, or when the competition, conflict, glory, and other aspects of traditional play pierce a moment but do not necessarily define it.

KEY WORDS: Foursquare, game design, game studies, gamification, ludology.

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Learning Beyond the Game: A Multimodal Analysis of Rocksmith Users’ Interactions

ABSTRACT: In the context of games for learning, rich multimodal conversations online can contribute to extending the educational potential of digital games. In this study, we analyzed the multimodal features of user interactions in an online affinity space dedicated to the Rocksmith digital game. This game allows users to connect a traditional electric guitar to a Sony PlayStation 4 console and interact with the game while improving their guitar playing skills. Findings show that users include several multimodal elements in their online conversations in order to support guitar learning beyond the digital walls of the game. Emoticons, emoji, pictures, YouTube videos, and user-generated videos are all part of a constellation of audiovisual modes that support social learning practices in an interest-driven online space. By understanding how users incorporate these modes in their interactions, game designers, game developers, and educators can make informed decisions on how to design and improve these features within the games themselves and in online communities of learning dedicated to such games. The findings of this study can also help these stakeholders and decision-makers create more engaging and more effective connections between games and online platforms

KEY WORDS: affinity spaces, games and learning, multimodality, online learning, Rocksmith.

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To Brand or Not to Brand: The Perception of Brand Image in the Digital Games Industry

ABSTRACT: The paper presents, discusses and analyses the role of building brand image in digital games. The purpose of this paper is to analyse and discuss in-game marketing in cultural spheres from the aspect of brand image. The aim is to explore, identify and present the relationship between brand image, consumer self-image and digital games as a brand. The contribution of this study is manifested in an interdisciplinary approach to work through marketing, psychology, sociology, and media theory. Consumers project their desires through digital games, and the brand’s entry into the digital game itself enhances the gaming experience and reality of the digital game. It was concluded that consumers want a realistic experience while playing digital games and they want to see famous brands within the game as this enhances their experience and projects the reality of the digital world. The core of brand image is consumers’ perception. In recent years, the digital game industry dominates this segment of the global entertainment economy. The paper analyses in-game marketing from the aspect of branding and sociology of culture. It is based on J. N. Kapferer’s theory of brand building and Huzinga’s theory of game. The article explores the meaning of the phenomenon of brand image and identity in virtual reality. The emphasis in this paper is put on the influence of brand image and digital game as a model of popular culture. This article adopts an integrated knowledge inquiry approach through thematic analysis to explain the concept of brand image. From the consumer’s point of view, the brand represents a symbol built on impressions, associations, metaphors and archetypes in the digital gaming industry. Brand loyalty is a key factor in building brand equity. The problem of brand loyalty appears as a reflection of brand symbol and its image. However, the oxymoron of in-game marketing starts from the hypothesis that consumers want to see brands in virtual realit

KEY WORDS: brand, culture, digital game, image, in-game marketing.

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Cancer on the Holodeck: Metaphors and Cultural Construction of a Disease through Digital Games

ABSTRACT: A study from the OECD published that Cancer is one of the main causes of mortality in developed societies, with remarkably high prevalence, incidence and mortality rates for both sexes. This study closely examines nine digital games to elucidate how they conceptualize a disease like cancer around a narrative concerning the sickness, patients, treatments and outcomes. Discourse and content analysis techniques were applied to the message contained in the games looking to illuminate the connection between the narrative core, the audio-visual representation and the interactive aspects of the game, within the parameters of values-conscious design applied to digital games. This provides some evidence about the cultural and visual aspects of how game designers conceptualize the disease as a part of society. This research uncovers culturally embedded themes and reveals the prevalence of metaphor use in cancer discourse which relied on science, social support and spiritual convictions for social empowerment, building empathy and identification.

KEY WORDS: cancer, cultural industries, digital games, serious games.

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