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Mechanics, Messages, Meta-Media: How Persuasive Games Persuade, and What They Persuade Us of

Mechanics, Messages, Meta-Media: How Persuasive Games Persuade, and What They Persuade Us of

Presentation at the Persuasive Gaming in Context Conference in Amsterdam, October 17, 2018.

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Sebastian Deterding

October 16, 2017
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Transcript

  1. mechanics, messages, meta-media How Persuasive Games Persuade, and What They

    Persuade Us of Sebastian Deterding (@dingstweets) Digital Creativity Labs, University of York October 15, 2017
  2. <1> introduction

  3. None
  4. “Procedural rhetoric is the practice of using processes persuasively ….

    Each unit operation in a procedural representation is a claim about how part of the system it represents does, should, or could function.” ian bogost, persuasive games, 2007, 28, 36
  5. “Rules control the meaning of the game, and players, by

    following rules, create the meaning that is already predetermined by the designer(s). For the proceduralists, a game means what the rules mean” miguel sicart, against procedurality, 2011
  6. “The disparity between the simulation and the player’s understanding of

    the source system it models creates a crisis in the player. I named this crisis simulation fever, a madness through which an interrogation of the rules that drive both systems begins.” ian bogost, persuasive games, 2007, 332
  7. “Rather than producing assent, ... the game [Howard Dean for

    Iowa] produces deliberation, which implies neither immediate assent nor dissent. Like literature, poetry, and art, videogames cannot necessarily know their effects on individual players.” ian bogost, persuasive games, 2007, 329, 339
  8. jfk reloaded, traffic games, 2004

  9. How and why do different players come to different understandings

    of the same persuasive game? question
  10. <2> case study

  11. Blindly focusing on outcomes and following rules (as in gameplay)

    leads you to dehumanise and ignore the people your actions affect. the (meta-)mechanical message
  12. game no. 1: train, brenda brathwaite, 2009

  13. game no. 1: train, brenda brathwaite, 2009

  14. audience responses

  15. media responses

  16. game no. 2: playing history 2: slave trade, serious games

    interactive, 2013
  17. game no. 2: playing history 2: slave trade, serious games

    interactive, 2013
  18. game no. 2: playing history 2: slave trade, serious games

    interactive, 2013
  19. audience responses

  20. audience responses

  21. WHY? same rhetoric, opposite reaction

  22. <3> genres, framings, and travelling meta-media

  23. What is accepted and expected in … education for children

    artworks for adults genre framing shapes understanding entertainment games
  24. critiques by audience

  25. controversial topics and subject position: challenging but not unknown …

    in art
  26. train: carefully framed as art for adults • Single physical

    copy • Presented at art galleries, universities • Always accompanied by author guiding follow-up debate
  27. carefully considered & controlled visual framing

  28. how train is visually framed

  29. how train travelled through the media

  30. ph2: edugame for 8-14 year olds in school • Digital

    copies • Distributed through Danish schools • Accompanied by educational material for teachers
  31. how ph2 is visually framed

  32. released & announced on steam/twitter outside educational context

  33. educational framing didn’t appear there

  34. how ph2 travelled through twitter & the media

  35. <4> provocation

  36. games work culturally as travelling meta-media

  37. games travel culturally as meta-media

  38. media as iconic tokens for ideas

  39. demos

  40. design fictions

  41. big urban game, 2003

  42. selling ideas.

  43. selling themselves as a vehicle.

  44. selling their creators and commissioners.

  45. player game message creators

  46. media public game message creators

  47. summary 1. Genre and visual framing shape how audiences perceive

    intended authorial and reader stance toward a game. 2. Games circulate through culture as easily de- and re-framed meta-media, making this framing crucial. 3. Persuasive games may be more impactful as meta-media generating attention and credibility (for their message, their makers, themselves) than as individual player-game encounters.
  48. sebastian@codingconduct.cc @dingstweets codingconduct.cc thank you.