meaningful play 2010 travel

Game Information

TitleCombiForm (student-created game)
Presenter(s)Edmond Yee, Andy Uehara
SessionConference Reception, Game Exhibition, and Poster Session
TimeThursday, October 21, 7:00p-9:00p
LocationEast Lansing Technology Innovation Center
FormatGame Exhibition
DescriptionCombiform is a new and unique experimental video game project that stresses the importance of physical interactions among players. In particular, multiple players may physically combine their game controllers, thereby creating a collective and collaborative gaming interface. This physical combining and de-combining mechanic opens up a new level of interaction that has never been explored in the video gaming world.

Contemporary video games have a convention of focusing player to player interactions within the virtual world. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) are capable of supporting over thousands of players in a single virtual environment. However, these games have completely removed the fun and pleasure that one experiences when other players are physicially present.

Taking the Nintendo Wii as an example; it is a known fact that playing the Wii alone or with others online would not be nearly as enjoyable as playing it with someone locally. Here, one of the key aspects lost when playing online is the performative aspect of games. Players play differently in the presence of others. They exaggerate movements, showing emotions with their actions. In addition, observers also contribute to the experience by giving feedback to the players. All these interactions and feedbacks make up the performative aspect of games. Playing games with the physical presence of others is simply an extremely fun and rewarding social performance. Combiform is the very first attempt to further enhance this social performance by incorporating a novel gaming interface with the combine mechanics that emphasizes compelling collaborative physical interactions.

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