Play at Work : Virtual Conferencing in Game Space

Mason, Zach and Lindley, Joseph and Green, David Philip and Coulton, Paul (2022) Play at Work : Virtual Conferencing in Game Space. In: DRS2022 Bilbao: Design Research Society Conference 2022 :. Design Research Society, ESP, pp. 1-14.

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The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of video conferencing, making it a prominent space that our work and social lives are lived within. For many this transition to virtual co-presence has been joyless, highlighting the shortcomings of mainstream video conferencing. In contrast the video gaming community had already pleasurably adopted and occupied online shared spaces for decades prior to the pandemic. In this paper we discuss the designed affordances of the video conferencing platform Gather Town, which adapts some of the conventions of video games and implements them to better support video conferencing. In this research we consider whether gaming conventions—including interactive spatial design, use of avatars, and a retro art style—may enable us to inject more joy into remote working. By critically considering Gather Town’s affordances through our own experimental spaces within it, we seek to encourage the design of more diverse and engaging digital spaces, which will enable more enjoyable remote work and social events.

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21 Jun 2022 14:55
Last Modified:
21 Jun 2024 23:49