On Making Good Games – Using Player Virtue Ethics and Gameplay Design Patterns to Identify Generally Desirable Gameplay Features
Paper i proceeding, 2010

This paper uses a framework of player virtues to perform a theoretical exploration of what is required to make a game good. The choice of player virtues is based upon the view that games can be seen as implements, and that these are good if they support an intended use, and the intended use of games is to support people to be good players. A collection of gameplay design patterns, identified through their relation to the virtues, is presented to provide specific starting points for considering design options for this type of good games. 24 patterns are identified supporting the virtues, including RISK/REWARD, DYNAMIC ALLIANCES, GAME MASTERS, and PLAYER DECIDED RESULTS, as are 7 countering three or more virtues, including ANALYSIS PARALYSIS, EARLY ELIMINATION, and GRINDING. The paper concludes by identifying limitations of the approach as well as by showing how it can be applied using other views of what are preferable features in games.

Gameplay design

player virtue ethics

gameplay design patterns


Staffan Björk

Göteborgs universitet

Nordic DiGRA


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