The idea of an ‘implied designer’ is at the core of a pioneering, collaborative academic work between The University of Antwerp's Dr. Nele Van de Mosselaer of the Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte - UAntwerpen and the University of Malta 's Prof. Stefano Gualeni of the Institute of Digital Games.
‘The Implied Designer and the Experience of Gameworlds’ will soon be publicly available through the proceedings of the DiGRA 2020 international conference, and can already be downloaded here: http://gua-le-ni.com/articles/Implied_Designer.pdf
Inspired by literary theory, the article offers a way to understand how players ascribe meaning to gameworlds and act within them based on what they perceive to be the intentions of the designers of the game. Although its focus and the examples it cites focus on the experience of digital games, the Van de Mosselaer and Gualeni present the notion of the implied designer in a way that can apply to any kinds of interactive artefacts (including toys, pieces of furniture, and so on).
Insights from this work already appear in recent academic works such as:
We are excited to share the news with you, and to let you know that the authors are happy (in these difficult times of remote work and online academia) to further discuss their ideas on the implied designer in guest lectures and reading groups.