by Chris F

It took a while for me to decide on my dissertation theme. I had a lot of ideas, and I wanted to do all of them. In the end, I had to choose. My dissertation will be based on finding the fun elements in a specific type of gaming and then applying them to make better games of that kind. I’m talking here about crowd-sourced games, which have been a genre emerging for a few years now.

In crowd-sourced games, you generally have some very complex underlying algorithms running on the back-end of a front-end game. The purpose of crowd-sourced games is to generate solutions to problems that are best solved by humans, such as pattern-recognition and compiling data from different sources.

Over the next few weeks, I will look at different games of this genre, such as Fold-It and Kort, and analyze their mechanics. I expect to have some difficulty in defining the different mechanics, since some of them go more into social interaction and relying on a community reaction than on the simpler mechanics we’ve studied, but I believe I will be able to describe them to a good standard.

The fields that I foresee my dissertation will encompass will be that of game design, specifically of understanding above-mentioned mechanics and how they work together to create “fun”. I will also look into what drives people to play these games and join a crowd-sourcing activity in the beginning. After I’ve studied these two topics, I will look into putting them together to see if I can create a non-digital prototype that applies the principles that I have studied and proves them.

Chris F.