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Conceptualizing Player-Side Emergence in Interactive Games: Between Hardcoded Software and the Human Mind in Papers, Please and Gone Home

Christopher Michael Yap, Youki Kadobayashi and Suguru Yamaguchi
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Christopher Michael Yap: Internet Engineering Laboratory, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Japan
Youki Kadobayashi: Internet Engineering Laboratory, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Japan
Suguru Yamaguchi: Internet Engineering Laboratory, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Japan

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2015, vol. 7, issue 3, 1-21

Abstract: The concept of emergence exists in many fields such as Philosophy, Information Science, and Biology. With respect to the modern video game, emergence can potentially manifest as emergent narrative and/or gameplay. In this paper, the authors engage in a critical discussion about what it means for an interactive video game to have emergence. The authors frame the discussion of emergence as a close critical look at the games Papers, Please and Gone Home. From these analyses, the authors propose a concept of “Player-side emergence in games,†in which emergence in the form of narrative is expressible and observable in games which rely not on the game software itself, but also upon the complex system of the human mind for reconstruction of the game experience and a subsequent expression of emergence. The authors contend that such an emergent design consideration is potentially useful for designers who are trying to address the trade-off of Ludo-Narrative Dissonance.

Date: 2015
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