Meaningful Play 2018 at Michigan State University

Paper Information

TitleGame Design Therapoetics: Authoring the Computer Game Autopathography
Presenter(s)Sandra Danilovic
SessionEmpathy and Gaming
TimeThursday, October 11, 3:00p-4:00p
LocationLake Ontario
FormatPaper Presentation
DescriptionIn this paper, I discuss my arts-informed qualitative study and doctoral thesis on the self-healing resources of autopathographical game authorship. I mobilized the autopathography (the autobiographical illness and disability narrative) from literary theory, and organized an ethics-approved game jam in order to study the authorship processes of 13 professional game designers/developers. Their experiences with bipolar disorder, anxiety, ADHD, color blindness, PTSD, shyness, grief, and insomnia would inform their design. My findings show that autopathographical game design during a game jam may be healing through its four therapeutic dimensions: autopoiesis (re-making the self through introspection), fabulopoiesis (re-imagining the self through the game narrative), logopoiesis (re-perceiving the self through implementation), and sociopoiesis (shared storytelling during a game jam). I offer insights into how gamemakers are pushing the frontiers of artistic experimentation in games while forging a novel creative method of self-care--game authorship as an expressive form of design therapy.

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