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Exploring anonymity in cooperative board games

Conference paper
Authors Jonas Linderoth
Published in Think Design Play: The fifth international conference of the Digital Research Association (DIGRA)
Publication year 2011
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Language en
Keywords Board Games, Gameplay, Design Patterns, Inclusive education, Design based research, Game mechanics
Subject categories Other information technology, Pedagogy, Sociology


This study was done as a part of a larger research project where the interest was on exploring if and how gameplay design could give informative principles to the design of educational activities. The researchers conducted a series of studies trying to map game mechanics that had the special quality of being inclusive, i.e., playable by a diverse group of players. This specific study focused on designing a cooperative board game with the goal of implementing anonymity as a game mechanic. Inspired by the gameplay design patterns methodology (Björk & Holopainen 2005a; 2005b; Holopainen & Björk 2008), mechanics from existing cooperative board games were extracted and analyzed in order to inform the design process. The results from prototyping and play testing indicated that it is possible to implement anonymous actions in cooperative board games and that this mechanic made rather unique forms of gameplay possible. These design patterns can be further developed in order to address inclusive educational practices.

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