I’m watching Tom Cole give his talk “Emotional and Functional Challenge in Core and Avant-garde Games” at CHI Play 2015. He looked at game reviews to understand the different between main stream games and more “avant-garde” games.
You can read the abstract here and get the full paper below:
Digital games are a wide, diverse and fast developing art form, and it is important to analyse games that are pushing the medium forward to see what design lessons can be learned. However, there are no established criteria to determine which games show these more progressive qualities. Grounded theory methodology was used to analyse language used in games reviews by critics of both ‘core gamer’ titles and those titles with more avant-garde properties. This showed there were two kinds of challenge being discussed — emotional and functional which appear to be, at least partially, mutually exclusive. Reviews of ‘core’ and ‘avant-garde’ games had different measures of purchase value, primary emotions, and modalities of language used to discuss the role of audiovisual qualities. Emotional challenge, ambiguity and solitude are suggested as useful devices for eliciting emotion from the player and for use in developing more ‘avant-garde’ games, as well as providing a basis for further lines of inquiry.Cole, Tom , Cairns, Paul and Gillies, Marco . 2015. ‘Emotional and Functional Challenge in Core and Avant-garde Games’. In: CHI Play 2015. London, United Kingdom.