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meaningful play 2012 travel

Session Information

TitleThe mindful xp experience: Developing meaning through rapid prototyping
Presenter(s)Michael Lee, Felix Park and Daniel Lin
TimeThursday, October 18, 11:00a-12:00p
DescriptionRapid development or prototyping has emerged as a popular way to approach design challenges. From student projects such as the Experimental Gameplay Project to any number of local and global game jams, prototyping has been seen as a prime way to develop experimental gameplay mechanics (ones that would provoke introspection, reflection, and or poignancy).. Our student project, mindful xp, sought to take this popular approach for finding new fun mechanics and use it instead in search of meaningful game mechanics. Over the course of 15 weeks our project focused on developing a series of prototypes with the goal of achieving meaning through game mechanics and play. In addition to developing individual prototypes we also assessed both positive and negative reactions and feedback from players and allowed those responses to inform our creative process throughout the 15 weeks.

Each prototype was initially designed using a specific approach (individual vs. collaborative design, etc.) to explore how differences in approaches affected the development of meaningful game mechanics. Each game also was developed with a central mechanic that attempted to convey meaning primarily through play. In the 15 week period we created 10 complete games along with a number of incomplete prototypes. Through conventional mechanics like shooting and non-conventional mechanics like holding hands, through linear experiences focused on story to freeform explorations of systems each game strived to deliver a thoughtful experience. By the end of the 15 weeks we had developed a number of personal guidelines and thoughts on creating personal and meaningful works. The use of rapid prototyping as our setup for this project allowed us to successfully experiment and creating a number of games canvassing a wide variety of subjects.

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