Designing for social play in co-located mobile games

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


  • William Goddard, RMIT University, Australia
  • Jayden Garner, RMIT University, Australia
  • Mads Møller Jensen
In this paper we explore how mobile devices and co-location in
mobile contexts contribute social play in game design, addressing
the limited understanding of social interactivity in mobile games.
Using the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) framework, we
code four games illustrating effective use of mobile, social, and colocated
elements. Subsequently, we analyse and discuss this data to
identify generalisability in these games. In our discussion we identify
how these findings address game design problems of designing
collaborative games. Furthermore, we contribute to theory of designing
for social play from the perspectives of co-located mobile
contexts in game design by identifying how mobility: (1) affords
co-locating with other players in public spaces, (2) supports physical
interactions using spatial context and players bodies, extending
games beyond their formal system, (3) supports asymmetric design
with information and interaction. Finally we contribute the concept
of a pocket magic circle, a particular magic circle, to support
a focus on game design leveraging these intersecting properties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Australasian Computer Science Week Multiconference : ACSW '16
Number of pages10
Place of publicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year2016
Article number68
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-4042-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventAustralasian Computer Science Week 2016 - Canberra, Australia
Duration: 2 Feb 20165 Feb 2016


ConferenceAustralasian Computer Science Week 2016

    Research areas

  • Game design, mobile games, social play, embodied interaction, co-located play, asymmetric play, magic circle

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