Co-Creative Game Design in MMORPGs

Prax approaches ownership of the mods from multiple PoVs to propose a new model for Co-Creative Game Design. #add-ons #mods #mmorpgs

”Co-Creative Game Design in MMORPGs” is an article written by Patrick Prax from Uppsala University, Sweden. In his article Pras approaches the phenomenon of “mods” created by the players to the video game(s) of their choosing. Prax firstly pokes the term “co-creative game design” from multiple point of views and challenges it based on earlier research and literature. He also proposes the following model for Co-Creative Game Design which he then explains through-out the article:

1. Player creation of a text or communication infrastructure that modifies the properties of the game and from which play emerges 2. for a considerable group of players who share a particular practice of play 3. not only by playing the game but by changing how others play it in a distinct creative activity 4. with the potential to subvert or contest the original design of the game.

Prax uses one MMORPG, World of Warcraft, as an example to explain some of the points. One example was the use of an add-on that shows any damage made by player in a way that would be impossible for players to see or read on their own in-game. Players then use these type of add-ons mainly for two reasons: 1) improve their own performance or 2) motivate and/or shame others. This would fit in the first point. Second point is fulfilled when “most” of the active player-base is using some sort of an add-on that records damage output of a player. Third way is proven when players alter their performance according to the feedback given by said add-ons. Last point is proven when game developers add partial or full version of the add-on to be built-in the game.

According to Prax, this challenges the ownership of the mods, but says that only if these conditions are filled, then mods can be seen as co-creative game design. Otherwise it is sub-creation as players are not equal to the developers.



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