What’s a Mini-Game? The Anatomy of Fishing Mini-Games

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Fishing ‘mini-games’ are common in many contemporary video games. But what makes certain fishing-related video gaming elements into a ‘fishing mini-game’ per se and not merely a ‘fishing mechanic’? I answer this by examining how fishing elements vary from one implementation to another. Through analysing eight recent games with fishing, I identify and categorise a list of features where different implementations may vary. The resultant framework can assist designers to implement differently to cater to various player types and achieve specific goals. I also make a first attempt at distinguishing fishing mini-games from other fishing elements in video games. I identify two core considerations that, in my view, are crucial in rendering certain gameplay elements, but not others, a ‘mini-game:’ (i) gameplay-wise, the mini-game should be substantially different from other elements of the overarching video game and (ii) engagement with the mini-game should not be compulsory or effectively so.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Games Research Association (DiGRA) International Conference 2023 : Limits and Margins of Games
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationSevilla, España
PublisherDigital Games Research Association (DiGRA)
Publication date21 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2023


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