short attention span theatre – designing for meaning in short session replayable games

Posted on Posted in 2016 Workgroup Topic Proposals

[this may be mergeable with social bonds in competitive play and/or core games on mobile]

Much of mobile gaming is designed around  short session play patterns with reuseable and replayable content.   This has led vast tranches of games down a deep pit of micro-transaction-driven designs that offer little meaning, and too often leading players by the nose through a thin layer of  fun, shmeared lightly over a very long and large loaf of bread.  These games rarely offer the life-changing emotional engagement of longer-session narrative or simulation games.  Can we design our way out of the pit?  Break open the bonds of consumer purchase pattern expectations (free to play, micro transactions) while still offering replayable content that caters to the short session play pattern, yet delivers meaningful, emotionally engaging experiences? There are after all many examples in other media of meaningful  short session experiences.

One thought on “short attention span theatre – designing for meaning in short session replayable games

  1. At the risk of overcomplicating or bastardizing your intent, thinking out loud I noticed there could be overlap between our topics. Namely, that the best games existing that I can think of that already fit the topic I proposed tend to in fact have very short loops of repetitive performance that allow the player to steadily learn the subtleties of operational performance according to their own potential, with an effectively infinite ceiling, while at the same time not demanding much for a player to be able to competently engage in the first place — eg. Puzzle & Dragons’ core gameplay loop, some competitive racing games, rock band/bemani games, shooting a basketball in real life, tetris. What do you think?

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