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How Should Video Games Be Designed?

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Jim Pedrech

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of How Should Video Games Be Designed?

How should
be designed?
Is This Game Exploiting a Real Life Tragedy?
Dead Island sparks sexism flap
Game Design Issues That Typically (and Rightfully) Get Our Attention
Keeping Kids from Hot Coffee
Deus Ex, and Why Game Narratives Fail
...and Yet, There are Other Stories
Video Games and the Monomyth
Violent (but compelling)
Super Controversial
Do We Have the Language?
Where Do We Go From Here?
Why You Won't Be Shooting Innocents in Battlefield 3
Trailer for Portal
10 Truths About Books and What They Have to Do With Video Games
Problem-Solving, Simulation, and Learning
Sid Meier's Civilization
Beyond Good and Evil
winning vs. finishing
choice vs. narrative structure
entertainment vs. art
Questions That Will Guide Us
What is the purpose of video games?
If the goal of game designers is to create a world which players can freely explore, to what extent should the exploration be limited by moral questions?
What role can video games play in education (and vice versa)?
Monomyth and Link

Is an orphan who doesn't fit in (the boy without a fairy)
Embarks on a quest by crossing the threshold (leaves Kokiri Village)
Faces numerous challenges and tests, all proportional to skill
Receives regular aid from sage-like figures
Discovers a talisman, the one item that can defeat evil forces
Defeats Ganandorf and saves Zelda
Returns to his village
What is the purpose of video games?
If the goal of game designers is to create a world which players can freely explore, to what extent should the exploration be limited by moral questions?
If, like filmmakers, game designers are to address controversial eras, events, or issues, how do they ensure their work is not exploitive?
to entertain?
to challenge?
to co-author?
to teach?
If the world is "co-authored", at least partially out of the author's control.
Technology offers some interesting options, but it is still limited
Rise of Nightmares
Simulation in the History Classroom
I play video games
(mission-based and simulation)
My kids play video games
(nurturing sims and platformers)
My wife plays video games
(puzzles and platformers)
I teach History and English
(and tend to see games through these lenses)
My students play video games
(all the time)
My students and I make games
(it takes a long time)
Kinect in Education
A Missed Opportunity
The developers of Assassin's Creed II painstakingly recreated Renaissance Italy in every way....except through narrative.
Modding Games to Create Content
Full transcript