LiSC had a presence again this year at Mindtrek in Tampere, Finland. This nifty little conference blends together games studies, social media and ubicomp along with business talks from industry pros.
We had two papers to present. Firstly, Ben had a paper about “Emergence and Playfulness in Social Games” (free pdf).
Although the paper is about social games exclusively, the appearance of runaway hit Minecraft prompted a change in focus of the presentation. The talk, shown below, talks about emergence in Minecraft and how it relates to the same playfulness with which many players of Social Games such as Farm Town engage.
The presentation was well received – Sebastian Deterding does a great job of placing these points in context, and talking about the importance of “underspecifying” in game design.
The second presentation was Derek’s paper on the “Step Matron” project that tested the effects of social competition on exercise at work. It is called “Motivating physical activity at work: using persuasive social media for competitive step counting” (free pdf).
This presentation also went very well – we were honoured that it was chosen as Best Academic Paper at Mindtrek!
Unfortunately Derek wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, but kindly Ben stepped forward to take the credit and copious liquid rewards.