Let Me Entertain You: Designing for Surveillance and Online Gaming

Deirdre Devers, Stephanie Wilson
2009 Conference of the Digital Games Research Association  
Multi-player online gaming environments are designed with the intent of providing entertaining experiences to players that not only foster re-playability but also to cultivate an ongoing allegiance or loyalty to the game publishers'/developers' brand or various assets (e.g. Master Chief, Grand Theft Auto etc.). Design elements such as webcams, activity monitoring between players, and online presence cues make possible player practices within online game-based environments that, though
more » ... ce-oriented, become the key ingredients that work to construct entertaining online encounters. Yet when similar features are transposed to other less playcentric spaces (e.g. workplace), whether online or offline, they can be perceived as threatening or unwanted. The surveillance networks created by the online games themselves and associated 'meeting places' [9] (e.g. Facebook) as well as surveillance activities in these digital spaces are vehicles for creating and sustaining entertaining experiences. The presence of surveillance-oriented design features and their subsequent and on-going use by individuals, create a more entrenched level of engagement and intimacy through repetitive contact. . The aim of this paper is the analysis of various online games and meeting places that comprise a surveillance network in order to identify the various design features and the player activities they give rise to which can constitute various types of surveillance (e.g. participatory, mutual). Building on the idea of surveillance having an entertainment function [1], I argue that in terms of the expression of a user experience (UX) in these particular digital spaces, surveillance-oriented mechanisms and practices are fundamental to the creation of enduring entertainment experiences which would not be possible without the reliance on the necessity of exposure in both places and of individuals.
dblp:conf/digra/DeversW09 fatcat:y3eius3umvfcvpdcba7d6no6bu