[-empyre-] OSW: open source writing in the network

Adam Parker aparker at qantmcollege.edu.au
Thu Jan 12 11:53:50 EST 2012

Hi all

I don't post here at all (I mostly lurk), so I apologise for my silence and
hope that the community finds this valuable.

In one of the specialisations offered at the campus I coordinate, namely
games, there is a serious set of questions beginning to develop around
precisely the co-creation issues that Simon notes. For academics like
myself, this has required an abandonment of support for auteur models that
have tend to permeate the professional practice.

These questions turn on how game designers might account for the creative
input of committed player communities in games that involve constructive
player activity. I'd include a range of practices, from community-based
real time storytelling, as in the complex social narratives generated
within EVE Online, to pragmatic level design contributions in Little Big
Planet's editing community, to collaborative development practices such as
Legend of Robot, where developers worked with a player forum in a
participatory design process.

Considering these issues, I am finding that game design should be looking
through interaction design lenses now, as a means for cracking the problem
apart - we need to become more ethnographic, more anthropological, more
collaborative, more iterative in our design practices.

This has run headlong into the structural issues that Simon notes -
traditional developers and publishers have serious problems integrating
these approaches into a business model predicated on secrecy, distrust of
players and the absolute control of intellectual property rights.

I can also offer what I suspect might be a lead towards finding solutions.
A student of mine investigated von Hippel's open source innovation
frameworks last year as an undergrad lit review project. There may be some
benefit in von Hippel's work; while for me it's too early to say, for those
readers who have looked at his work (and similar) as well as game design
practices there may be strong and informative connections between game
community development practices and those social structures found in open
source software development.


Adam Parker
Campus Academic Coordinator
Qantm Melbourne

Qantm College Melbourne Campus
235 Normanby Rd
South Melbourne VIC 3205 Australia

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