April 11, 2021

On Deceptive Game Design - Game Talk Session by Prof. Stefano Gualeni at Universita' IULM, Milano

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On April the 29th (17.00 CET) Prof. Stefano Gualeni will be presenting some of his new work in one of the GAME TALK sessions (Universita' IULM, Milano).

Building on the notion of the Implied Designer (developed together with Dr. Nele Van de Mosselaer, and already discussed in our blog here: http://www.game.edu.mt/blog/the-implied-designer), Prof. Gualeni will be introducing the idea of Deceptive Game Design. Given the current pandemic situation, the event will be free and will take take place online.

Learn about Transgressive Game Design


Drawing from narratology and design studies, Stefano Gualeni will introduce the ideas of the “implied designer” and “ludic unreliability”. Those two fundamental notions will then be leveraged to present the idea of “deceptive game design”, a subset of the wider category of transgressive game design. In this talk, Gualeni will discuss deceptive design not only understood as an intentionally manipulative practice, but also as one that aims to provoke specific experiential and emotional responses that are in the interest of players. Several examples and strategies for deceptive design will be examined during the talk, which will conclude with the proposition of a taxonomy for deceptive design decisions on the basis of their shared qualities (overt, covert, ludic, and paraludic).

The talk will be recorded and we will share the video soon, too.
The academic paper corresponding to this talk is currently under review.

Experimental Game Design

The notions discussed and used in deceptive game design align with those explored in Stefano Gualeni's IDG5252 Experimental Game Design course, a recently updated course where students learn about the relationship between social life and a particular kind of technology: games. In particular the critical design choices that may acquire new meanings, functions, and effects within a social context. Not only do the students of this elective learn to think critically about the values but they also develop a practical project to illustrate these decisions. Prof. Gualeni has been active in developing and researching this area of game studies through the implied designer as well as Construction BOOM!

Game Studies Research in Digital Humanties

Videogames are one of the key forms in today’s cultural landscape, taking their place alongside more established forms like theatre, film, TV, literature and performance art. Their impact is something we take seriously at the Institute of Digital Games. The Digital Humanities Research Group examines what games are, what they do, and how we experience them. Current research threads include tracking and mapping the differences in representation between traditional fiction and virtual reality, the player-avatar relationship in games, architecture and the built environment in game worlds, music and musicking practices in games, and the use of videogames as philosophical tools.

Interested to know more? Contact us!

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