To play is to play together, either with playmates surrounding you in reality or online, or with imagined friends. A well-designed game doesn’t guarantee a good play automatically, we need a safe and playful space with people to play with. In between screens, joysticks, servers, networks, we are constantly playing with others (machines and humans). This session is dedicated to artists and designers that concentrate on the sociality of play. Many of them dig into the paradoxical phenomena of modern play: mediated playing together through networks and computation devices. What does it mean to design games that are made for multitudes but played solo? How to make games that brings individuals closer through not gaming, but a shared culture or experience of play.
Loners in games
All of Alan’s games are single-player games, and in the worlds he created, the players are often not given the abilities to talk or interact with other characters. Most of his games also have no rewarding mechanics and provide no particular goals for the players to achieve. Instead, his games focus on creating first-person encounters with evocative and psychological spaces that do not urge for actions, but simply allow players to wander alone and to daydream.
In this keynote presentation, Alan will reflect on his experience of growing up as an introvert, a loner, and an observer, and explain how that influences his style of creating games.