Some players want to nurture. These players enjoy the act of taking care of something or someone. They gain pleasure from seeing their efforts (appear to) cause their nurturing target to thrive, grow, and/or recover. In multiplayer games, these efforts might target actual people, but in this paper we’re specifically focusing on serving the players that try to nurture non-players: plants, creatures, humans, or even inanimate objects.
Modern video games often act out the values of colonialism. What if there were design tools that could help teams take their first steps into a broader, richer world of non-colonial mechanics?
Players play games, and when things go right, they tell compelling stories about their play experiences. Sometimes these stories even become community legends. This report looks to identify the conditions that player stories are likely to flower under and proposes a toolkit of design moves to help seed the soil. It also opens the question of how player stories might be folded back into the game itself, and what the tradeoffs are for doing so.