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Session Name Broadening Our Idea of What Games Can Be
Speaker(s) Jesper Juul
Company Name(s) Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab
Track / Format SGS: Serious Game Design
Overview It may seem that all games have goals, but a number of recent hit games have demonstrated that a game can be interesting because it has weak or non-existing goals. Hits such as the GRAND THEFT AUTO series, WORLD OF WARCRAFT, and THE SIMS may be very different games, but they all share the fact that the player is free to perform actions that do not simply work towards a single game goal. If serious games are to reach a broader audience, they must learn from recent developments in game design.

In his presentation, Juul demonstrates how weakening or removing the game goal works can make a serious game cater to a wider audience. He discusses how to open-up a game to different styles of playing, how to make it more expressive, and how to increase playing time and the variation that a game can provide. Juul also outlines several tips for when to remove or weaken the goal of a game and how to create serious games systems that can sustain the interest of a variety of different player types.

GDC 2006

Jesper Juul

Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab

free content

SGS: Serious Game Design

Serious Games


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