Should I stay or should I go? Boundary maintaining mechanisms in Left 4 Dead 2
Paper in proceedings, 2012
In this paper we report an ethnographic study of Pick Up Groups (PUGs) in the game Left 4 Dead 2. Our aim with the study is to contribute with a deeper understanding of how these new social arenas are constituted by its’ participants and the role game design plays in structuring these encounters. As a deliberate attempt to go beyond the discussion in the game studies field about formalism versus play studies, we use both concepts from micro-sociology as well as concepts from the field of game design as our analytical framework. Our results shows that the dynamics of a PUG can be understood in relation to how players uphold and negotiate the boundary between the their in-game-identity based on their gaming skill and a other social relations outside of the game context.
Gameplay design patterns
Pick Up Groups