Game Research

Blog by the game research group

Paper: Patreon and Porn Games: Crowdfunding Games, Reward Categories and Backstage Passes

Petri Lankoski & Mikolaj Dymek

In DiGRA 2020 conference proceedings:


Patreon is a crowdfunding platform where pornographic games are funded; even the most successful game developer in terms of the number of members is developing a pornographic game. We looked at 42 developers and their Patreon pages in order to examine the effects of the Patreon crowdfunding model on videogame development. Especially we studied membership rewards. As a result, developers were not only selling the game, but rewards we much about Community, Influence, and Recognition. Regulating Content Access is used regularly but often the latest version of the game is made available to everybody, just later to the members funding the development. We propose that certain rewards are similar to backstage passes in the music business and suggest that Patron pornographic games funding deviates from the crowdfunding model is not following mainly product-oriented commodity logic but a more community-oriented concept.

Keywords: Patreon, pornography, porgraphic games, crowdfunding, rewards

UX of AI in games workshop at FDG2019

We are organizing another AI & Games focussed workshop at this year’s Foundations of Digital Games conference:
2019 Workshop on User Experience of Artificial Intelligence in Games @ FDG

How do players experience Artificial Intelligence (AI) in games? How do they feel about the AI, and how is what the AI does communicated to the player? Is there interaction with the AI, and if so, who takes the lead? Is this a social experience, a believable one? Is the AI creative, or at least perceived as such? And finally, is the AI making the game experience better?

AIs fill many roles in games, from companions to antagonists, from storytellers to architects and game testers. With all the recent focus and technical advances in AI this is likely to increase, and the recent popularity of artificial intelligence is moving AIs to the foreground of games. This raises many questions — and in this workshop, we want to look at those surrounding the player’s user experience with artificial intelligence in its many forms.
The 2019 Workshop on User Experience and Artificial Intelligence encompasses the intersection between UX and AI as it manifests in games. We wish to act as a point of interaction between researchers specialized within these fields, in the hope that this will help facilitate research that allows for the creation of more interesting and robust AI-based game experiences.

This workshop aims to build a community centered on this by putting forward demonstrations of work in the integration of these two areas, as well as models and theories that can be used to create understanding where the areas intersect. We especially welcome demonstrations of work in progress or work showcasing new ideas. We are interested in realized prototypes, demons and applications — especially designed created to explore hypotheses. We are also open to philosophical and humanities-based approaches and provocative ideas.

The workshop is co-located and organized with the 2019 Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) conference in San Luis Obispo, California, USA (August 26-30, 2019).

Here is the full CFP:
Call for Papers to the 2019 Workshop on User Experience of Artificial Intelligence in Games @ FDG

Best Full Paper Award at ICIDS 2018

Re-Tellings: The Fourth Layer of Narrative as an Instrument for Critique by Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari was awarded the Best Full Paper Award at the 11th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, ICIDS 2018, Dublin, Ireland, December 5–8, 2018.


The fourth layer of narrative in Interactive Narrative Systems (INS), such as games, is the players’ re-tellings of the stories they have experienced when playing. The occurrence of re-tellings can be considered as an indicator for a well designed INS and as an instrument of critique – the experiences of play are important and memorable to such a degree to the players that they find them worthy to tell others about. The notion of the fourth layer is added to the structural model of IN Systems having (1) a base architectural layer giving conditions for a (2) second layer of narrative design, while a (3) third layer is the narrative discourse – eg. the unique, session-specific played or traversed sequences of events. In relation to this, the Story Construction model is described.

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