Non-profit driven indie game development represents a growing open and participatory game production model as an alternative to the traditional mainstream gaming industry. However, this community is also facing and coping with tensions and dilemmas brought by its focus on artistic and cultural values over economic benefits. Using 28 interviews with indie game developers with a non-profit agenda across various cultures, we investigate the challenges non-profit driven indie game developers face, which mainly emerge in their personal or collaborative labor and their endeavors to secure sustainable resources and produce quality products. Our investigation extends the current HCI knowledge of the democratization of technology and its impact on the trajectory of innovating, designing, and producing future (gaming) technologies. These insights may help increase the opportunities for and retention of previously underrepresented groups in technology production and inform effective decision/policy making to better support the creativity industry in the future.
Previous research suggests that the experience and practices related to gaming and extended realities, and religion and spiritualism, share similarities. In this study, we explore how both the employees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (n=156) and pervasive game players (n=98) perceive and make sense of these connections. We approach the qualitative data from the perspective of Durkheim, who, similarly to how game theorists view games, views religion as a multi-faceted system that incorporates the rules, practices and communities that comprise the religion. From the data emerges the following prominent connection as perceived by both groups of informants: systems of (1) shared premise, (2) resilience and restoration, (3) symbolism, (4) extended reality and (5) day-to-day structuring. A numerical view of the data shows that 42,5% of the participants did not perceive similarities, and examination of these responses suggested that while religion and pervasive games share functional similarities, they are further apart from a substantive perspective.
Mainstream games are typically designed around the visual experience, with behaviors and interactions highly dependent on vision. Despite this, blind people are playing mainstream games while dealing with and overcoming inaccessible content, often together with friends and audiences. In this work, we analyze over 70 hours of YouTube videos, where blind content-creators play visual-centric games. We point out the various strategies employed by players to overcome barriers that permeate mainstream games. We reflect on ways to enable and improve blind players’ experience with these games, shedding light on the positive and negative consequences of apparently benign design choices. Our observations underline how game elements are appropriated for accessibility, the incidental consequences of audio design, and the trade-offs between accessibility, agency, and engagement.
Playing digital games can be an effective means of recovering from daily work strain. However, limited research has examined which player experiences contribute to this process, limiting the ability of players to select games and play them in a manner which helps them recover effectively. Hence, this paper reports a mixed-methods survey study investigating how a recent post-work recovery episode was impacted by immersion: a player experience which has been implicated in theoretical accounts relating games and recovery. We found that particular dimensions of immersion, such as cognitive involvement, support specific post-work recovery needs. Moreover, participants report not only experiencing benefits in a passive manner, but actively optimising their levels of immersion to achieve recovery. This study extends previous research by improving our understanding of how digital games support post-work recovery and by demonstrating that immersion is key in determining the restorative potential of digital games.
The current study is designed to replicate and validate the video game demand scale (VGDS) as a metric for understanding player experiences in video games, while also expanding the application space of that scale to an underrepresented population. Using available materials from prior VGDS research, we created the Video Game Demand Scale-Turkish (VGDS-T). The translated metric was administered online to a volunteer sample of self-identified Turkish-speaking gamers (N = 184), where participants answered questions about perceived cognitive, emotional, exertional, controller, and social demands of their most recent game, as well as other game evaluations (as validation checks). Confirmatory factor analysis showed that the translated five-factor scale was a strong fit to the original 26-item scale (VGDS-English) with nominally stronger fit for a 22-item scale (VGDS-Mandarin). Therefore, we both validated the five-factor VGDS on a novel population and provided a translated the metric for researcher and industry use with Turkish-speaking gamers.
Procedural content generation (PCG) in video games offers unprecedented opportunities for customization and user engagement. Working within the specialized context of role-playing games (RPGs), we introduce a novel framework for quest and dialogue generation that places the player at the core of the generative process. Drawing on a hand-crafted knowledge base, our method grounds generated content with in-game context while simultaneously employing a large-scale language model to create fluent, unique, accompanying dialogue. Through human evaluation, we confirm that quests generated using this method can approach the performance of hand-crafted quests in terms of fluency, coherence, novelty, and creativity; demonstrate the enhancement to the player experience provided by greater dynamism; and provide a novel, automated metric for the relevance between quest and dialogue. We view our contribution as a critical step toward dynamic, co-creative narrative frameworks in which humans and AI systems jointly collaborate to create unique and user-specific playable experiences.