Using Reflexive Photography to Investigate Design Affordances for Creativity in Digital Entertainment Games

Hall, Johanna; Stickler, Ursula; Herodotou, Christothea and Iacovides, Ioanna (2021). Using Reflexive Photography to Investigate Design Affordances for Creativity in Digital Entertainment Games. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 37(9) pp. 867–883.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10447318.2020.1848162

Abstract

This article aims to provide an account of the use of reflexive photography in capturing player creativity in practice and present a guide to how game design can support player creativity. While previous literature has examined some aspects of player creativity in digital games, there remains a dearth of work which examines how design elements of games contribute to creative behaviour. Using a reflexive photography method with photo-elicitation interviews, this study identifies eight design affordances for player creativity in digital games and outlines the effectiveness of the reflexive photography method within the context of digital games. The identified design affordances related to the degree of flexibility of the game structure (e.g. open versus linear), narrative exploration, extent and diversity of game variables, opportunities for content creation, environmental interaction and exploration, avatar customisation, progression and replayability. Implications for the design of games that support creativity are discussed.

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