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dc.rights.licenseCC BY-NC-ND. Users may download and share copies with attribution in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. No commercial use or derivatives are permitted without the explicit approval of the author.
dc.contributorRouse, Rebecca
dc.contributorHaskins, Ekaterina V., 1969-
dc.contributorSearch, Patricia
dc.contributorChang, Ben
dc.contributorRuiz, Kathleen
dc.contributorMalazita, James
dc.contributor.authorWalsh, Eric
dc.date.accessioned2021-11-03T09:03:46Z
dc.date.available2021-11-03T09:03:46Z
dc.date.created2018-10-24T13:31:34Z
dc.date.issued2018-08
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.13015/2253
dc.descriptionAugust 2018
dc.descriptionSchool of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
dc.description.abstractIn this dissertation, I seek to define strategies designers might use to enhance the effectiveness of their game’s message. To do so, I adopt a rhetorical approach to impact that recognizes identification between the designer’s view of the world and that of the player as critical to achieving impact. Based on a review of relevant literature drawn from the fields of rhetoric, interactive narrative, and game studies; interviews with prominent game designers Tracy Fullerton and Jesse Schell; case studies of Undertale, That Dragon, Cancer, and Papo & Yo; and a design project creating a game to increase empathy for people with ADHD, I endeavor to present a framework for impact design that delineates major concerns relevant to the act of identification. This framework recognizes abstraction based on clearly presenting the designer’s message and agency based on encouraging the player to engage with that message as the cornerstones of promoting impact through identification. From their intersection, I extrapolate three related design concerns: authenticity, affectivity, and ambiguity. Authenticity captures the degree to which the game rings true to both the developer’s own beliefs as well as those of the player; affectivity describes the player’s emotional connection to the game; and ambiguity invites players to seek their own meaning by completing the game through their act of play. Throughout my work, I expand upon these three concerns to identify how they can serve as useful heuristics for impact design, suggesting concrete strategies at the level of a game’s mechanics, aesthetics, and narrative. I believe in the potential of games to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place, and I see my research as contributing to that greater effort.
dc.language.isoENG
dc.publisherRensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
dc.relation.ispartofRensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States*
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/*
dc.subjectCommunication and rhetoric
dc.titleHow to design for impact in games
dc.typeElectronic thesis
dc.typeThesis
dc.digitool.pid179200
dc.digitool.pid179201
dc.digitool.pid179203
dc.digitool.pid179202
dc.rights.holderThis electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
dc.description.degreePhD
dc.relation.departmentDept. of Communication and Media


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CC BY-NC-ND. Users may download and share copies with attribution in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. No commercial use or derivatives are permitted without the explicit approval of the author.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as CC BY-NC-ND. Users may download and share copies with attribution in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. No commercial use or derivatives are permitted without the explicit approval of the author.