Paula Goerke

Paula Goerke is a freelance English teacher and currently a research assistant at the Chair of Critical Educational Technology and Media Education at FernUniversität in Hagen. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Educational Science at FernUniversität in Hagen in 2021 and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Education and Media. Her focus is on the interdisciplinary possibilities of bringing educators and game developers together and understanding the relationship between people and games.

(Un)restricted play – how prospective game designers view the boundaries of games

FROG 2022 – Poster

Limitations, both natural and artificial, are an inherent part of human life, restricting humans in their movement, their thoughts, their interactions, and their general freedom. One opportunity to escape such real-life limitations is (video) games. However, the freedom players encounter while experiencing their virtual adventures is heavily influenced by the multiple limitations set by the game designers. In-game freedom can only properly be enjoyed within the limits its creators allow. Most research focuses on the way players experience these limitations and their perceived possibilities of thriving within them. In contrast, this poster presentation portrays how prospective game designers view the boundaries encountered by players and how these limitations can be overcome by them. The poster is based on qualitative research – interviews with four prospective game designers – and allows a new perspective on games by focusing on the (new) people behind the scenes rather than those who interact with them. It offers two contributions to the current degree of knowledge: firstly, examining the perspective of game designers allows insight into the making and designing of games – how aware are they of their own limitations? How do they perceive the limitations their players will encounter? And how do these limitations bleed into the non-virtual world? Secondly, focusing on future game designers rather than those with years of experience allows insights into the future of the industry as well as the current standings of educational programs focused on games. The results show that regarding themselves, they are aware of their technological restrictions as well as the limitations of their own experiences. Concerning game-inherent boundaries, they identified player interactions and design limitations, among other things.


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