How do game developers configure the gamer?

Owen Daly-Jones

This PhD is concerned with creativity and design processes in the video game industry. Video games are a popular pastime for many people and display characteristics akin both to software products as well as art and film. However, relatively little is known about the creation of video games or the applicability of commonly accepted user-centred design principles. What development practices are common within and across game development teams? How well understood are game development communities and what can they teach us about creativity and innovation.

In connection, this PhD is concerned with understanding the creative endeavours of video game developers, their working lives, skills and strategies for success. By focussing on a seemingly under-researched area the thesis work has three primary aims:

  • An assessment of the applicability of user-centred design principles and practices to the video game industry
  • An examination of the ways in which video games are 'configured' for the end user or the gamer
  • The identification of potential lessons for design management and practice in other fields

Supervisors: Professor David Frohlich  and Christine Hine

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