Designing for Immediate Play

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This paper is concerned with designing for immediate play, the experience that a player has when joining a game designed for being played without particular preparation. Museum games, urban games, casual sports, and ad-hoc multiplayer video games are kinds of games that facilitate immediate play situations. After a detailed explanation of immediate play, we analyze the context of the immediate play situation, which is mostly characterized by an overlap between different realities of the experience. The article continues by describing various design dimensions and outlining the design space those offer using examples and expert opinions. While most practices and game examples mentioned in this paper are from non-digital games, a special focus is put on the role of technology in immediately playable experiences. Still, the examined design dimensions are independent of the technological foundation of the game. This paper provides a starting point for designing better immediate play situations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games : FDG '17
Number of pages8
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2017
Article number20
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-5319-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventFoundations of Digital Games - Hyannis, United States
Duration: 14 Aug 201717 Aug 2017
Conference number: 12


ConferenceFoundations of Digital Games
LandUnited States

    Research areas

  • Game Design, Play Design, Museum Games, Immediate Play, Urban Games, Pervasive Games


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