Aftermarket, a Game Design Philosophy

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Date

2015

Authors

LeMieux, Patrick

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Seaman, William

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Abstract

Aftermarket, a Game Design Philosophy documents the community histories and material practices of players who, over the last decade, have transformed videogames from “entertainment systems” into instruments, equipment, tools, and toys for playing, thinking, and making in the aftermarket of the videogame industry. Through a close investigation of the hardware, software, and code enabling tool-assisted speedruns, real time attacks, and ROM hacks, Aftermarket explores how play can become a form of game design located between human experience and the speeds and scales of digital media. Beyond documenting how these different groups convert packaged products into open platforms for critical making, Aftermarket both argues for and enacts a model of game design as a critical practice in which playing, making, and thinking about videogames occurs within the same act—a true game design philosophy. Focusing on the material properties, technical capacities, and social play around a single game, Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros., this “close playing” and “platformer study” does not seek to reify Miyamoto, Tezuka, Kondo, and Nagako’s game, but appropriates, manipulates, duplicates, perforates, aggregates, and dissipates Super Mario Bros. into a different kind of “Mario Paint”—a medium for making art.

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Citation

LeMieux, Patrick (2015). Aftermarket, a Game Design Philosophy. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10520.

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Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.