Wednesday, 28 November 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #12: Philosophical Influence in Design

Ok, last Design Futures lecture before the final hand-in. Let's crack on with it. This week, the subject was the influence of philosophy on design.

What is Philosophy?
"Philosophy is the academic principle that exercises reason and logic in an attempt to understand reality and answer fundamental questions about knowledge, life, morality and human nature."

How is it useful for Games Design?

  • Stimuli for Narrative...
  • ...and for Gameplay Mechanics
  • Creates a deeper experience for the user
  • Always open to intepretation

An example of this:-
Deus Ex - The conversation with Morpheus
This scene explores several themes, including freedom vs worship,, how humanity strives for judgement and how we create our own gods.

Philosophy in Modern Games
Narrative is not the only area where philosophy can be explored. See what you can find out about how philosophy has inspired the gameplay mechanics of Journey and Flower.

Flower - Freedom/ simplicity, dreams/ hopes, happiness for all, breaking through man-made constraints, nature reclaiming what man has built, healing

Journey - Fulfillment, Discovery, Personal journey, basic interaction, deep connection, goal-less cooperation, encourages empathy, searching for something, Hero's Journey

Personal Research
Do you know of any other games which explore philosophical themes?

  • Shadow of the Colossus - Grief, clinging on to something that is already lost
  • Okami - The importance of Resolve
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - Letting go of the past
  • Metal Gear Solid Saga - The explotation of soldiers, the ethics of killing, harsh reality of war
  • Missile Command - The futility and horror of nuclear war

That about covers this lecture. Next week I'll probably post the completed article that I've been writing up.

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