ISSN: 1757191X
First published in 2009
3 issues per volume
Volume 3 Issue 2
Cover Date: July 2011
Designing game representations: How game interfaces constrain and promote collaborative play
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Authors:  Matthew Sharritt 
DOI: 10.1386/jgvw.3.2.145_1

Keywords
interface,gameplay,usability,education,learning,affordances,video games,

Abstract

A study using contemporary computer games, including Civilization IV, Making History: The Calm & the Storm and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, illustrates how the design of the game interface and its associated behaviors can guide game player activity. Affordances, or potentials for action, can constrain and promote particular game player activity by influencing game player goal formation and constraining the corresponding action potentials to achieve those goals. Results demonstrate the importance of paying close attention to what the game interface offers players, as it serves to constrain in-game activity while providing salience to particular actions. These actions can be designed in ways that guide game player activity towards the achievement of ‘Serious’ goals. Patterns between the use of the game interface and game player intentions reveal the importance of the relationship between the game interface and player activity.
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