An Innovation-Oriented Game Design Meta-Model Integrating Industry, Research and Artistic Design Practices

Document type: Bookchapters
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Craig Lindley, Charlotte Sennersten
Title: An Innovation-Oriented Game Design Meta-Model Integrating Industry, Research and Artistic Design Practices
Book: Extending Experiences - Structure, analysis and design of computer game player experience
Year: 2008
Pagination: 250-271
Editor: Olli Leino, Hanna Wirman, Amyris Fernandez
ISBN: 978-952-484-197-9
Publisher: University of Lapland Press
City: Rovaniemi
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Engineering - Dept. of Interaction and System Design (Sektionen för teknik – adv. för interaktion och systemdesign)
School of Engineering S- 372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:,
Language: English
Abstract: The distinction between implicit and unselfconscious design cultures on one hand and explicit, self-conscious design cultures on the other provides a principle for interrelating a variety of game design approaches within a coherent game design meta-model. The design approaches in order of increasing design self-consciousness include implicit design, ‘cookbook’ design methods, taxonomy and ontology-based game design, theory-driven design and formalist reflexive design. Implicit design proceeds by copying existing examples of game designs, while ‘cookbook’ methods generalize from examples to create lists of design heuristics. Taxonomy and ontology-based game design is based upon more systematic models of the types, features, elements, structure and properties of games. The theory-driven level involves the design of game systems to facilitate game play motivated by cognitive, scientific and/or rhetorical theories of game affect and functionality, or incorporating technical innovations providing the basis for new game mechanics and experiences. The formalist level represents the application of reflexive contemporary artistic perspectives to games, resulting in games that reflect upon, question or reveal game form. In placing these different approaches within a hierarchy of increasing self-consciousness of design practices, the meta-model provides a clear account of the roles of research and artistic methods in game design and innovation, providing a foundation for more explicit design decision making and game education curriculum development integrated with higher-level research.
Subject: Digital Game Development\General
Keywords: game design, methodology, pedagogy, innovation, research, art