Methodological questions on serious games

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presented at the seminar on Games Research Methods in Tampere

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Methodological questions on serious games

  1. 1. Some methodological questions about studying persuasion in serious games Valentina Rao University of Utrecht / GATE project [email_address]
  2. 2. Games for non-game purposes: a contradiction? <ul><li>Games for : health, social policy, advertising, ideology, education </li></ul><ul><li>Games for : buying, selling, interacting with other people, dating, making friends, learning, voting; the attitude is different </li></ul><ul><li>Ludification of culture, or exploitation of the game-specific qualities (altered state, suspension of disbelief, obedience to in-game rules to create acceptance of out-of-game elements) to manipulate players? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Big “serious” productions
  4. 6. Independent Productions
  5. 7. http://www.molleindustria.org/files/pedopriest.swf
  6. 8. Inspirations for analysis <ul><li>Casual games </li></ul><ul><li>Instrumental play </li></ul><ul><li>Rhetoric </li></ul>
  7. 9. <ul><li>Montfort/Bogost’s five levels model: </li></ul><ul><li>Reception/operation </li></ul><ul><li>Interface </li></ul><ul><li>Form/Function </li></ul><ul><li>Code </li></ul><ul><li>Platform </li></ul>Wardrip-Fruin/Mateas: Operational logics
  8. 10. Conclusions? <ul><li>Media effects: study both structures and reception: a “remediation” of this theory for serious games can maybe help overcome the (fake) separation between ludologists and narratologists? </li></ul><ul><li>Narratology is just ONE of many approaches to content; the textual metaphor is just a metaphor </li></ul><ul><li>Serious games present different playing conditions and a different attitude towards playing (“serious” or otherwise); that should be considered </li></ul>
  9. 11. ANY SUGGESTIONS?! Thank you for your attention <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul><ul><li>Bogost, I. Persuasive Games, Cambridge/London: MIT Press, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Frasca, G. Playing with Fire: Serious Hype, Serious Opportunites, Serious Games Source, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>http://seriousgamessource.com/features/feature_092906_hype_1.php </li></ul><ul><li>Gauntlett D. Media Studies 2.0. http://www.theory.org. uk /mediastudies2. htm </li></ul><ul><li>Montfort, N. and Bogost, I. Racing the Beam. MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Shrum, L.J. Media Consumption and perceptions of Social Reality In Bryant, J. Oliver, M. B. Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research, Taylor and Francis, 1994, 2002, 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Wardrip-Fruin, N. Mateas, M. Defining Operational Logics, Digra Conference Proceedings, 2009 </li></ul>
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